Eating Disorder Recovery

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This is a quick follow-up post to my last article on the big fat loss secret.  After a full year of doing a great deal of one-on-one phone conversations, I keep wanting to share some of the calls.  I get some really interesting cases, and I often find myself wanting to start recording some of the really good calls and publish them for a general audience to listen to.  They really are that interesting, and the lessons often strongly reiterate some of the basic messages of 180DegreeHealth.  I haven’t recorded any calls yet, and I don’t know if that’s something I’ll actually do, but I thought I could at least share some of the things that I discussed with Coldmember – a 20-year old Dutch kid that ran into serious health trouble after pursuing extreme body composition goals and extreme eating.

In his case, we were really looking at true eating disorder recovery, which is theoretically pretty simple and straightforward – but in practice it is one of the most difficult of all things to achieve.  It is also made much trickier by the fact that he is taking hydrocortisone, thyroid, growth hormone, and testosterone – we ran into what seemed like hyperthyroid symptoms by the 4th day for example, and he had to lower his dose (something that I of course cannot give counsel on, but something his endocrinologist was able to support).  Today he has come off of it completely, 9 days after our first conversation.

Some of the reasons eating disorder recovery is so difficult:

1) Digestion is weakened (weaker digestive secretions, delayed stomach emptying, thinner intestinal walls, potential bacterial overgrowth, etc.), and when appetite is extremely high this is a big mismatch.  For Coldmember to switch from his most recent diet to eating to the point of appetite satisfaction meant suddenly going from 1800 calories to 7000.  I recommended starting out with 3000 and slowly increasing it.  Easier said than done.  He’s eaten well over 5000 each day since the beginning, starting with a phenomenal first day of 7000 calories – all of them “clean” by his choosing.  He mentioned eating a couple pounds of beef and a dozen eggs in addition to several pounds of sweet potatoes and stuff like that.

2) Glucose metabolism is impaired.  It’s typical to experience dramatic blood sugar fluctuations when you begin refeeding after extreme leanness.  Moods are extremely unstable.  He’s already experienced bouts of anxiety and other weird moods, although overall he’s seen a dramatic improvement, including even laughing for the first time in many months.  Others experience much more extreme fluctuations, only making it easier to talk oneself out of eating and gaining weight – something a person with an eating disorder is already at odds with from the get go.

3) Sanity is compromised.  A frantic, obsessive compulsive type of mind state is the norm for those with an eating disorder.  Most think that’s just the type of person that ends up with an eating disorder, and there are certain predispositions (such as being a perfectionist), but few realize just how much your mental state is affected by extreme leanness and a low metabolism.  In today’s day and age, it’s hard for someone with an eating disordered mind to stick to one, steady, sane approach (it’s hard enough for a sane person with all the information overload on the internet).  At the point where Coldmember is at, it’s hard not to be on your 4th or 5th dietary experiment by dinner time.  That is an exaggeration, but not a very large one.  He really needs to eat, and any food will work, more or less.  Still, he contacts me frequently to discuss PUFA, macros, body fat percentage, various types of training, and that kind of thing.  You can see the game of dietary ping pong being played in his mind in the messages he sends me, which is COMPLETELY normal in the state he’s in.

4) Catecholamine Withdrawals.  Starving yourself in some way is invigorating in a sense, even euphoric.  That’s due mostly to the burst of catecholamines secreted during major stress.  Eating more and sleeping more shuts catecholamine production down and leaves people typically feeling the opposite of invigorated and euphoric, for a while.  Aches and pains set in.  The fatigue can be overwhelming at first.  Mood is calm but the mind is foggy and fuzzy and unfocused.  Basically, these catecholamine withdrawals feel like a stronger version of what a coffee addict experiences when he or she wakes up in the morning and hasn’t had his or her coffee – grumpy, tired, foggy, and achy.  It’s hard not to resort to hard exercise, meal-skipping, stimulants, purging, or other endorphin-releasing “drug” to ease the withdrawals.  Getting past an eating disorder is like getting off of a high-powered stimulant drug like cocaine.  It’s not easy and probably the main reason eating disorders are self-perpetuating with a high rate of relapse (and why the guy in the picture in this post, Jeremy Gillitzer, is dead).  Coldmember, fortunately, seems like he isn’t having much trouble in this category compared to others I’ve communicated with.

Anyway, that’s just the short list of complications.  But as you’ve probably already gathered, the approach we discussed is incredibly simple and very effective if the complications don’t interfere.  Coldmember also mentioned a strong desire to accommodate his body composition goals as well, and we discussed that at great length.  Here are some of the main things I pointed out to him and suggested he try playing around with…

1) Most of the physiques we admire are not of men who weigh 54 kilograms (about 119 pounds) – his weight when contacting me for the first time.  Most, at his height, weigh closer to 90 kg (200 pounds).  I suggested that going through a long building period of at least a year, despite the initial fat gain, would actually be an important first step in moving towards that aesthetic ideal.  He has weighed 80kg before, and I suggested that he probably wouldn’t reach his full normal state until he approached that weight.

2) I suggested slowly increasing calorie intake over several weeks and then transitioning to eating to the point of complete appetite satisfaction.  He was unable to do this as I kind of suspected.  The drive to eat when you open up the floodgates is absolutely incredible, another great challenge during eating disorder recovery because people don’t understand how temporary this is, and worry that they will continue to eat at that calorie level and balloon up to 500 pounds.

3) I told him to expect to gain fat in his abdomen first, followed by fat in the rest of the body, followed by replacing lost muscle, bone, and organ mass as the main metabolic portion of the rehabilitation process reaches completion several months from now.  I didn’t say it quite so succinctly, but this general process is something that I take time to describe to a lot of people pursuing refeeding.

4) I told him to try to get the basic anti stress foods worked into all of his meals – salt, sugar, starch, and saturated fat.

5) I told him to eat 3 structured meals daily with a “carby, salty snack” any time, day or night, that he felt cold – especially in the hands and feet, or started urinating frequently (before contacting me he was drinking 5 liters of water daily with completely clear urine passed hourly or more).  One of the reasons I recommend this over going fully “intuitive” as to when and what to eat is to keep him from having to think about it so much – instead allowing his eating to be on “autopilot.”  The body can adjust to regular rhythms too, and thrives off of regularity and consistency.

6) I told him to reduce his water intake dramatically, or consider drinking a beverage with salt and sugar added to it in place of water, and not so much of any beverage that his urine was absent of a normal yellow color.  I did remind him that as his food intake increased, and his metabolism increased, that he would need to steadily increase his fluid consumption once more – based mostly off of changing urine color and general levels of thirst in the future.

7) I told him to stop working to failure during his Body By Science-inspired workouts, and slowly increase the volume and/or intensity of his exercise over time as he felt like it.

8) I told him that he would probably be able to work with his endocrinologist to get off of all his hormone replacement therapy (hrt) in 2-3 months at the most.  He’s already off of testosterone and thyroid after 9 days.  At first his endocrinologist refused to believe that his dieting had anything to do with his hormone levels, and diagnosed him with hypopituitarism.  I chuckled when he asked me if he thought his hormone levels looked like someone with hypopituitarism.  Five days later he went to see the endocrinologist and the diagnosis was overturned.

9) I told him to work on increasing the quantity of his sleep as his metabolic state allowed, and rely as much on sleep, and as little on food, as is possible many weeks and months from now.  I also told him to try to adhere to a regular bedtime as much as possible, and eat plenty of dense calories (foods with a lot of calories as well as salt per bite) when he goes out and drinks with his friends.

10) I told him it would probably take a full year to complete full metabolic and chronic dieter rehab, and another year after that to get to the point of having a muscular and lean physique that he can be fully comfortable with.  He was probably thinking that sounds like an eternity.  Everyone reading this probably thinks that sounds awfully quick.  He is 20 ya know.

So, very simple, yes.  Eat the food.  Get some sleep.  Don’t overexert yourself.  It was the extensive coaching required to keep someone like Coldmember on track, and focused on a long-term vision of health, a high metabolism, AND an attractive body that engulfed most of our 90 minute phone call.  I didn’t talk much about food specifics, as they just aren’t that important – other than to say to reconnect with what you want to eat, not what you think you should eat.

He is already panicked about his change in body composition in less than a week and a half.  He’s got a long way to go to fully complete this process, but hopefully with everyone’s encouragement, a long-term vision that expands far beyond the changes that have taken place in the first 9 days, and having his case discussed publicly will help serve as a powerful reminder when he looks in the mirror, can’t find his abs, and has wistful thoughts of Durianrider.

Hopefully I can give everyone an update a year or two from now.


  1. Woohoo! I want to send you some Diet Recovery Pom-poms, Matt Stone!

  2. Hey Coldmember, keep up the good work buddy! A year from now yer gunna feel a whole lot better.

  3. Great work Matt and Coldmember! Hmm, wonder if that’s where pursuing aesthetic goals along with some level of performance/ strength goals are worthwhile? Not stressing about strength and muscle size, but using it as an indicator of overall health? It’s great to focus on getting lean, but our butts, traps, and lats should be growing along the way too. If not, eat more, and do more to stimulate large muscle. The underwear model, glam look is where we get in trouble. My hypothesis is that men with giant powerful glutes, quads, traps, and lats can pursue leaness more safely than someone trying to stay skinny all over. What do you think of that crazy idea Matt?

    • It’s probably true that a very muscular guy can pursue leanness more safely, and get lean eating more calories and more nutrients. But that’s just speculation. A built guy is certainly able to get more lean. At least that’s been my experience.

  4. Oh gosh, can I ever relate to him. After years of disordered eating, I’m finally accepting that I’m not going to heal my body from the crap I put it through without going up a few dress sizes. All I think about is how fat I’m getting (I’ve put on a whopping 5 pounds in two months) and it makes me miserable. I sure hope it doesn’t take me two years, though. I may have to get rid of my television, the internet and stay clear of the mall and catalogs so that I can make it without giving up and sinking back into size obsession.

    • I put on 20 the first 2 months of refeeding. I threw out all the clothes that didn’t fit. I’ve made it my goal to never be that small again and I don’t want anything around that will make me wistful of my old body. It’s amazing how much pressure there is to have an eating disorder and to put your appearance above your health.

      • I’ve been meaning to mention that I had a loose tooth stabilize in the first two months I did rrarf. That alone has made all the weight gain worth it :)

        • Well done. Seriously. Teeth are precious and if you can save one from the brink, (you’d think loose would be unsaveable) what else can you do healthwise?! Wow.

        • Wow Nira, that’s awesome. :D

    • Kim – You might enjoy viewing this blog: I’ve found it really helps to avoid excessive exposure to photographs of six foot tall size zero teenagers. :P

      I used to be one of those rare teenagers. So it’s kind of weird to now be size eight. XD But it’s also sexy, and more comfortable. :) You have no idea how jealous skinny girls are of the curvy girls who are complaining about their weight. I was always like “but you’re so gorgeous and perfect as you are,” whenever that would happen. Haha.

      Oh a positive side effect of eating more and healing your body: your skin really does improve, a lot. ;) So look forward to that, if you have any skin problems currently. :P

      • Thanks for the link. It’s hard being continually confronted with images of perfection that you will never, never be (again). I’ve gone from being a size 2 pre-kids to now (after putting on those 5 pounds) a size 8 and I feel very, very uncomfortable. I’m not sure why I care. Whenever my husband is looking at ads he always tells me he thinks the plus size models are more attractive than the skinny, skinny ones so I should be okay with being curvier. My head tells me my health is more important but the mirror is very seductive. :(

        • Also, I’ve unfortunately developed skin problems since adding more starches ans sugar to my diet. :( I hope that changes.

          • Makes sense the skin would react like that. I’m pretty sure mine got worse before it got better, too. Really frustrating, and doesn’t help with feeling attractive. =/ I hope it doesn’t take too long for that to turn around for you.

            I very slowly started to eat more, and it took a while for me to start really pigging out, so I don’t know if my time frame would be helpful to you at all. :P But I did notice that being consistent (meaning when I ate three meals a day plus snacks, and got enough sleep) helped a lot.

          • Mine did too. Scarcely had a pimple as a teenager, suddenly cystic looking things and rashes. But it was just temporary – after a couple of months they went away completely so chances are you don’t need to worry :)

          • Since goig offtrack in this destructing pattern my forehead wrinkles/cracks are more visible and my skin is completely dry,when i scratch myself i. peel off layers of skin.

        • Ah yeah. I think part of that uncomfortableness is just what Matt says about the catecholamine withdrawal. Oftentimes, people get more belly fat at first than they’d like. I think I sort of did, but it’s fine now. I noticed a lot of fat goes to the curvy bits, too, and eventually it evens out so you just have a nice figure. And once the energy returns, and you are able to strengthen yourself, you start feeling great. :)

          It’s good your husband is supportive. My boyfriend is also, and it helps, but I know what you mean about feeling unattractive despite that. Probably part of it has to do with the brain chemistry adjustment, but I think some of it is psychological, too.

          Under-eating is like… Self hatred kind of. And when we start to change that, perhaps the hatred shifts. At least, in the last few months I’ve found myself becoming more aware of how unkind and ungentle I was with myself. And I’m generally pretty nice to people I care about. Yet I did not extend that love to myself. Pretty important to try and change that, I guess. :P I’m working on it anyway.

      • Skinny girls jealous of curvy girls? That’s funny. Also I see a lot of skinny hating comments here. Why?

        • It’s not that I hate, or hated, skinny girls. XD It’s just that, the media is pretty biased towards them, you know? We don’t really accept the curvy, or the fat, quite as much, hence the need for balance! (And um, even gorgeous famous people like Portia de Rossi, and Crystal Renn, have struggled with eating disorders, due to industry pressure. =/) It’s not thinness we (I think most here would agree) hate, but eating disorders (which do make people thin, but of course, not everyone thin has an eating disorder).

          But yeah, when I was 15 (and supermodel skinny), I was totally jealous of the 17-year-olds who had softer figures. I thought they were pretty, and stronger, and much less awkward. I wanted to dance as gracefully as they did. I don’t think there’s anything abnormal about that. Seems like a typical developmental stage or something. (Young teenag girls usually want to grow bewbs. True fact.)

          It was when I wanted to look skinnier, that something was wrong. It was when I surrounded myself with only images of skinny girls, and thought this was the ideal, that something was wrong. So yeah.

          Hope that answers your question! :)

    • I can relate!
      I am wondering if I have to accept size increase as part of my journey.
      I have already increased somewhat and am struggling with that as it is- let alone

  5. Thanks Matt !
    “It’s hard not to resort to hard exercise, meal-skipping, stimulants, purging, or other endorphin-releasing “drug” to ease the withdrawals. ”
    I get the urge ever so often to resort to some of the above. But what is the alternative to get back on track when you fall off the wagon? For example, I think I did a bit too much overfeeding recently and am feeling stuffed all the time. What would be the best way to transition back into 3 square meals a day again ?

  6. Matt, can one maintain a balanced weight and leanness on overfeeding with the right amount of muscle training or exercise? Or does it just result in a surge in muscle building from all the carbs?

  7. This all sounds like really sound advice, Matt. Totally rings true to me, based on my own ED recovery. When I was first recovering, I would eat butter mixed with brown sugar every day. I literally could not control it, so I hear that point. I think my body knew it needed calories, and that was the best source! But, I was also given the advice to eat 3 good, balanced meals/day no matter what, and I think that really helped.

    It took me 4 years to recover my metabolism completely, but that’s because I had several relapses. I was also told it would take a year of normal eating to recover, and I think that was accurate. I prolonged it with the relapses, so hard as it is I recommend trying to avoid them! My weight gain was never that severe, but at the time it felt awful, and I was absolutely convinced that there was nothing other than willpower keeping me from ballooning up to 300 pounds. When I weighed 5 pounds less than I do now, I remember feeling unbearably fat. And I’m very thin now! Also, part of the issue is, you just look puffy for awhile. I think it’s the insulin resistance. But that does go quickly. One plus is, you start becoming much more attractive to the opposite sex when you become a normal weight, even if you can’t acknowledge it for awhile.

    • hi Amy, I was trying to find some of your older comments as I remember that they had some useful nuggets of information. What were the primary foods that you used to recover ? You mentioned 3 balanced meals a day – how many calories approximately were you consuming with respect to your weight/hieght?

    • ” I would eat butter mixed with brown sugar every day”

      Haha, I do something similar, I have a mixture of honey, butter and coconut flakes, or I mix in some cocoa powder to make it fudgey.
      And there was one time when I cooked up some butter and sugar to make it into toffee, and just ate it.

    • Butter with brown sugar has to be one of the yummiest things in the world. Every time I make cookies I eat a significant portion just at that point!

      • Butter and sugar are awesome! I don’t think I could eat much of it now, maybe a few bites, but back then it was by the bowl! I bet it would be good with something like cornflakes, too.

        Naira, I was specifically advised not to count calories. I kind of did anyway, because I knew how much was in everything (and actually would overestimate on everything). But I ate 3 balanced meals (think what any reasonable person would consider balanced – starch, veggies, normal portion of meat/dairy, and being sure to include some fat, maybe fruit). I binged on top of that, but would always get in the 3 meals. I ate pretty much unprocessed stuff (even the butter and brown sugar, haha!), but some white flour and white rice, etc. were definitely included. Warm milk with cinnamon and honey can be good, too (warm milk is much better for a compromised digestive system). I tried to incorporate small treats, but this really was not successful for a long time as I could not eat small amounts of cookies, chips, etc. And, this is important, I focused on tuning into my hunger, why I wanted to eat, what my emotional state was (which does not mean restricting, but rather listening, and maybe eating anyway if you’re not really hungry, or maybe taking a nap if that’s what you really are craving). RRARF got me all of the way there finally, but I never overate on it, and I still think junk food is a bad idea regardless of Matt’s thoughts (I define junk as packaged, processed stuff with chemicals).

        • Thanks Amy. 3 balanced meals of pretty much unprocessed stuff. well, i should have listened to my doctor years ago :)

        • @TheRealAmy would you,and others,be willing to write the typical meals(and. maybe snacks) you ate and eat? what did your day look like,did you exercise?
          id love to be able,if ill ever gather the courage and get off this destructive pattern,to do it with unrefined homemade things too,but that is exactly one of my problems in a practical sense that i like to eat tasty stuff but preparing it all seems like so much work and i basically want to be out all day. (im searching like crazy to find a physical job outside but im having no luck at all:( …as i lack experience and have the disadvantage of being female!which ofcourse they cover up with some kind of lie. i also kinda lack ideas as to what kinda jobs are out there in that kind of category)

          but back on topic,i wish i had you guys courage to do this,instead of the fasting Chiefrok(no offense to u)style with all the wrong stuff, but like i said i have an entire list of reasons why im scared shitless.

          • Sure, but I would advise doing what’s culturally relevant to you. Also, just a thought, maybe you don’t like your home for some reason and should move to a space you like better, or feng shui it or something so you like it more. Or cook at home and bring it elsewhere to eat. Sounds like you’re always dying to get out of your home.

            I did really easy stuff. Like:

            Breakfast – smallish bagel with butter and a yogurt and fruit; oatmeal with dried fruit and brown sugar and milk.
            Lunch – really varied, but let’s say a couple pieces of pizza, or a burger and salad, or a piece of grilled chicken with veggies and rice. Maybe fruit after, or another dessert item. Warm lunch is best if you can swing it. Eat to appetite.
            Snack (during recovery) – really varied, whatever I wanted. Salty is best.
            Dinner – again a balanced meal, but not too like what I had for lunch. Maybe soup, bread, cheese and fruit. OR pasta with meat sauce, salad. Or sauteed rice with scrambled egg and veggies. Whatever I was most in the mood for.

            Main rule is have carb, protein and fat at each meal. And nutritious stuff so you get the nutrients you need. Don’t skimp on carbs if you want them is my rule. Also, not eating too much or too little (eat to appetite, but if you eat so much at lunch that you’re too stuffed for dinner, then it’s too much – but don’t skip dinner even if you are full. You need to get used to having 3 meals a day.).

          • Oh, and for the bread stuff, sometimes it would be whole wheat and sometimes white. Varied then, and still does now. I think a mix is good.

          • Thanx Amy.
            I just recently beginning this year moved to a part of town I always wanted to go back to and was really lucky a rental-place became free bc there hardly are any rental places in this part. As I don’t have a job/steady income that’s high enough to buy a house, I was lucky to get this small appartment. Before I lived downtown and actually never felt good/energetic over there (I lived next to a trainstation and lots of other geopathic negative energy? ….dont know what it’s called in English. So back then I got Sanskrit symbols by my energetic therapist,which I had to print out and stick on a wall. I have it in my current appartment too….no idea if it works,but printing a paper isnt much work and the symbols look kinda nice:))

            I really always loved bread,pizza’s,pasta’s etc. but I think I must unfortunately make the conclusion that I have the idea it doesn’t do my metabolism much good.:'(

            For some reason,from childhood on, I’ve always loved/been attracted to stuff that actually doesn’t do me any good,not just foodwise,but I also for instance loved the gas smell at gasstations,other toxic smells etc. I really have no idea where that came from,as if there’s always been some sabotaging something inside,bc why would a body otherwise be attracted to all kinds of stuff that burdens the body with toxins,stress etc.?:s Maybe that’s also why from a young age,I slowly became overweight and not really energetic (apart from the fact that I wasnt used to playing outside a lot as I lived in the city.Having read Wilson’s Book I wonder if I’ve been born with weak adrenals to start with….)

            Thing is I’ve always been addicted/eating more&more of to all the food that really doesn’t do me any good metabollically.(…before people start,I’m talking about very much years here when I was a much heavier weight. I’ve been through lots of weight fluctuations in my life,never been really skinny/having flat belly and female bodyfeatures,without really dieting. I don’t think it’s coincidence I reached my heaviest point when the Lyme started(though I didn’t know it back then).

          • Gasoline smells good. I think everyone like the smell of it. A lot of chemicals smell good- spray paint, glue, markers, etc. I think your obsessing about “why” you are attracted to it probably makes it worse for you. Relax- for whatever reason, most people like those smells.

  8. I’ve been following the above for 3yrs or so, after I first found Matt’s site. Got my weight up to 205lbs from 178 with same waist size, gaining in all my squats/deadlifts, sleeping so much better. Recovery takes time, but this approach works.

    • Great to hear from you Undertow, and to see you doing well. Your persistent pursuit of progress is admirable, and probably the toughest part about actually getting better with all the magical cures out there. It’s easy to get trapped in the pattern of, as Maynard says, “overthinking, overanalyzing…”

      • Hi,
        I am a female of normal size and weight. For the past three years, I have been on a whole food, plant based diet. I would say my relationship with food is normal, and I can’t say I have been underweight. I would say I am addicted to exercise, and while I don’t count calories, I am a tad obsessive about food and what is in it. For example salt, sugar, animal products ect. Part of me would like to know what it feels like to put something in my mouth without obsessing about it, but I know too much about nutrition. And I do over analyze, such as: should I really be eating this food or that food? will it be good for my body? My dad died 7 months ago, after a long battle with cancer, and while he was ill, I researched a diet that would help him and adopted this diet for myself. I have recently started to include fish in my diet, but am wondering if this is the right thing to do. Any thoughts? Because I reason, as I am healthy their is no problem including some animal products in my diet.

        • Jennifer, this sounds exactly like the problem I encountered. Unfortunately, the obsession with eating only healthy and nutritious foods (an eating disorder known as orthorexia) led me to cutting out various foods groups and macronutrients in order to avoid disease.

          What helped me recover and battle my obsessions was the Minnie Maud recovery plan. If Gwyn’s advice seems too sketchy for you, just follow the guidelines here. Eat what you WANT. Eat what you haven’t eaten. It will be terrifying at first, especially if you find yourself with bouts of Extreme Hunger. Eventually, with rest and persistence, you will become normal around food again. Good luck!

  9. Hey Matt,
    I got kind of a weird question: Hypothetically speaking, would a hypotonic man do well to abstain from masturbation? I figure lots of stuff goes into making sperm and someone with a low metabolism might want to hold off and let that stuff build up over a couple of weeks or more. Perhaps whatever it is that makes up sperm is better put to use on other organs? Just spit-balling here.

    • I dunno dude, even when I was constantly cold, abstaining from from masturbation got so difficult to the piont of bein unbearable within a week. Probably better to empty the tank when there is some pressure, otherwise it’ll just stress you out. Don’t over do it though ;).
      Just wanted to share my thoughts.

      • I actually managed to go 47 days without masturbating, but then it became too hard (so to speak). It’s just that I’ve read accounts of men who abstain for months and see increases in energy, motivation, mood and even muscle gain. So I figured there might be something to it. One study suggests that testosterone increases 145% a week after ejaculation and so that might account for some of these benefits.

    • If you’re actively in recovery, it probably doesn’t matter. I have a feeling Coldmember didn’t have to utilize any willpower to abstain.

  10. Matt do you think there is hormonal damage from purging (throwing up) in and of itself? I end up purging every now and then for stress relief but I really worry I am setting myself back somehow. Is it just Catecholamine high?

    • I think a lot of endorphins are released with purging, and that it can be habit forming.

      • It also causes electrolyte imbalances, and other issues. If you are purging for stress relief, you need other outlets such as therapy (I know you’ve already been pursuing that, but just saying for general reference) and even exercise. It’s a dangerous thing to do.

        • I know it’s really dumb. I have actually cut way back from the old days. It’s just like once a month, maybe, and I know it causes some imbalances because I feel like CRAP after the high goes away and I get all floaty and spacey feeling, not nice at all, like I am about to faint.

          I never plan out binges anymore or anything. Just once in a while, it seems to ease so much tension inside me.

    • Tierney,
      Please, please be careful. I started only purging “once in awhile” and it turned into twice a day. But I was never addicted to the actual purging- just the binging. However I do remember the calm sort of high feeling you get after doing it, so I’m sure there are some sort of feel good hormones released.

  11. I send good wishes to cold member and I too am happy to hear that Undertow is doing so well. Everyone focuses on ladies and ED sO this is really important work to see!
    Real Amy you sound like you are grooving now too. It’s a relief to know there is hoPe! Thanks Mattie! Do

    • I meant XO not Do. Sorry. Your Weird Mom the Hag

  12. About whole foods.. if everything seem to bloat you up one degree or another, is it better to stick with say, cream of wheat instead of oats, white rice instead of brown and so forth, supplementing with blackstrap to get lost nutrients. The type of wheat we grow in europe is different from the us and contain more nutrients, even in its refined state. I bloat from most foods, and sadly i love veggies and root veggies. I never feel like eating anymore but i have three meals a day anyway. So the other night i ate a pint of häagen for dinner, 1200 kcal, and after four hours i was hungry!!!! That was like bloody awesome!!!! i could feel hunger. yesterday i ate no fiber and a veg pizza foe dinner, and could eat again after a few hours. after a whole pizza (european). Cutting out fibre, it feels like i actually function and my stomach is flat. Im full, but not pregnant. Its bloody awesome. But how good is it in the long run to eat like this? I blot from tubers too, sadly..

    • I think in many cases a low residue, easily-digestible diet is superior, and goes with our instincts. I didn’t recommend that Coldmember eat “all clean,” he just wanted to due to his health fanaticism. It’s working so I wouldn’t discourage him from continuing.

      • But for how long? Sure, if one cannot digest whole foods, one wont get those nutrients anyway, thus “refined” would be better because at least it’s digestable. For how long is it doable to live off, not junk but non-fiber foods? Will metabolism heal during that time, making it possible to slowly introduce those foods again, or, as long as one eats enough, will non-fiber foods be enough to remain healthy?
        I guess I’m relying on blackstrap just in case…

        • yea, matt you are going to have to push him to eat highly processed stuff eventually. i tried like hell to only eat “clean” but didn’t see complete recovery until I started eating whatever. it was good for my body (shit tastes GOOD, became more relaxed) and my mind (no longer a RED ALERT, STAY AWAY in my brain. again, helped with relaxing).

          until your desire to drink, smoke, and do drugs go away on their own, you most likely still have “healing” to do. i’m talking those who say “i want to quit smoking, but I just CAN’T”. it’s cuz you is still broken, yo.

        • mags–most traditional people seem to have relied on refined grains (like 95% refined). There’s no ‘making up’ for nutrients lost in removing the bran and germ. My guess is that ancestral people (and modern day people, too) just didn’t like the off taste of whole grains, or perhaps their tummies didn’t feel so great after eating it, or they felt cold, low energy. So they sifted out the coarser parts. Plant foods generally need a lot of processing to become digestible. Apart from tender leaves, I think the main goal with plant foods was to get at the starch, not the small amount of nutrients in the toxic outer layer and inner core.
          Micro nutrients are found in plenty other foods. I’d say animal based foods are best for that purpose. Seafood, bird eggs, organ meats.

  13. Well done Matt! Your a good man! You give a lot in posts like this and I for one really appreciate your honesty and sincerity in trying to help others.

  14. “people don’t understand how temporary this is, and worry that they will continue to eat at that calorie level and balloon up to 500 pounds.”

    When do you decide to go back to normal calorie intake? And what would you consider ‘normal’ for a guy in his twenties?

    • It’s best for it not to be a “decision,” but to happen spontaneously with an evolving appetite. But if he gets up to 80+ kg and is doing some hard training, with a very high metabolism, 5000 calories is not at all unreasonable. Either his appetite will drop or his body will catch up with his appetite.

      • I have definitely noticed this. Right after recovery I ate a ton and gained weight quickly and it was really scary. Now I’m three months into recovery and just this past week I’ve realized how much my appetite has dropped. I make sure I’m eating enough, and I know I am because I’m still warm all the time and my nails and hair are growing. It’s amazing what your body does if you just let it do it’s thing.

  15. Are you recommending dropping BBS just for Coldmember? You still think it’s superior for those with intact metabolisms, right?

  16. So what if you’re nursing your 5th baby and sporting at least 40 extra pounds that really depress you to no end? You said a woman of child bearing age should be eating at least 3000 calories a day but I don’t know how I’m supposed to fit that many calories in. I really have no idea how many calories I take in but I’m certainly not going hungry. I need to be able to eat the food with out my husband realizing how much I’m eating because he keeps saying to eat less or lay off of the sweet things! But i crave sweets and carbs the most. I’m having a really hard time after following a mostly weston a. price diet with allowing myself to eat things that aren’t fermented and have soybean oils or other bad oils in them. I buy organic whole wheat bread now instead of making my own sourdough bread and I certainly don’t have the energy or desire to go back to making it again. But I don’t really enjoy eating that bread and wish I could get back into making my own bread but with yeast and half whole wheat and half white flour. I definitely have become more relaxed about what I eat since before I got pregnant with this baby. I was very worried the whole time I was pregnant that I was nourishing my baby properly since I wasn’t eating the WAP way at all! I do make my meals from scratch so thats a good thing but I eat way more sugar now and don’t stress about eating out, which we do a lot more now. This baby was my biggest baby at 8lbs, 12 oz and 21 1/2 in long, a whole inch longer than any of my other babies so I guess my diet wasn’t so bad after all, eating the Matt Stone way!!! But I was so much heavier than my other pregnancies that I was very uncomfortable most of the pregnancy. Is it possible to heal my metabolism while I’m nursing and possibly lose weight, too? I’m afraid I’m going to have to be this fat a couple more years until I’m done nursing her.

    • Buy a bread machine and make your own bread! Organic whole wheat bread sounds YUK. I make a bread called “Sally Lunn” it is pretty nutrient dense for a bread:

      2/3 c whole milk
      1/4 c coconut oil or butter
      2 eggs
      1/4 c cane sugar
      1.5 tsp sea salt
      3 c flour (I use white bread flour, but you could mix with whole wheat….it just doesn’t taste as good)
      1.5 tsp yeast

      the best! I make it every other day for about 2 years now and kids and I never get sick of it. Make some french toast with that for several days and I bet your carb cravings start to subside.

      • Oh thanks, Tierney. :D I’m totally going to make this. :P

      • Yes, tierney, that sounds really good, is it a heavy bread, though? I’m wondering if it will make good . My kids have sandwisches for school almost every day.

        • It’s kind of rich and sweet, but not heavy. It makes great sandwiches even with savory stuff like tuna salad. My kids eat it almost every day as a sandwich. I like it toasted with a fried egg on top :)

          I have only ever tried to mix in about 1/4 whole wheat… obviously it will get heavier the more of that you use. I just use bread flour now.

          Get a good flour like King Arthur- I used some generic from the grocery store once and it was not as good.

          Also, set the bread machine to light crust because of the high sugar content.

          My bread machine is my life-saver. There is no way I’d find time to make bread any other way.

          • I just made that bread and it is soooo good! I think I might eat the whole loaf myself! :) I found a recipe to use without a bread machine and it is so easy to make. This is definitely going to be a staple around my house! Thanks so much for the suggestion!

          • MaryL please share! I want to make it too, but don’t have a machine. (Birthday’s coming up though!)

          • Here it is Sally Lunn Bread:
            1 C. hot milk
            1/4 lb. butter
            1/4 C. sugar
            1 t. salt
            1 pkg. dry yeast
            1/4 C. warm water
            3 eggs
            3 1/2 C. white flour

            ■Mix the hot milk, butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl and let cool to lukewarm. Stir the yeast into the warm water and let it stand for 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the dissolved yeast and the eggs to the first mixture and beat vigorously.
            ■Gradually add the flour. Cover and let rise in a warm place until about double in bulk. Spoon the mixture into a buttered loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 50 minutes

          • Thank you!

      • I saved this recipe. I’ve never made bread before. Shame on me! This sounds simple as really good. I’m gonna do it!

        • Good! I hope you enjoy it.

          Note: I have no idea how this bread turns out without a bread machine. If you google “Sally Lunn” you will find some similar recipes that don’t need any kneading, just rising and punching down. The recipe I have came straight from my bread machine recipe book.

      • Thanks for the recipe–it looks like a great way to get lots of goodies into one neat package. I think I’ve come across it before, maybe Joy of Cooking?

        I agree, whole grain is totally yuck. And chewy.

    • That’s exactly one of my problems on a practical side of things. In the past I never cooked and I still don’t like it.
      So,between all my anxious and other mooddisorders,when I’m able to think clearly,I actually want to be able to eat/RRARF with homemade foods…’s just that I already stress of the thought of how I need to handle all of it,bc basically I wanna be out the entire day…..

      All is so fucked up…..I spoke to my energetic therapist today and she said I still dealt with lots of metabolic disregulations (she mentioned thyroid and pancreas and still crap digestion….I would’ve though she’d mention liver&adrenals too,maybe she forgot them)

      On top of it I still deal with lots of parasites&funghi(Candida). (she previously already advised me to eat an ‘anti-funghal diet’……but also stated that eating foods that are actually beneficial/nourishing to the body starving these critters such as that diet can make you feel awful and crave lots of stuff…..and when eating the craved foods (sugar/carbs) you’re also kinda working against yourself.)

      • Dutchie, everybody here has already been through this bullsh*t. Candida diets, the chronic Lyme EPIDEMIC, this diet, that diet, and another. It’s a Merry-Go-Round that you need to get off of, in my opinion. Your Energy Therapist is probably a quack who enjoys the power she gets from telling other people how to live their lives. I guarantee you that if you were able to look behind the curtain of her private life you would see a paranoid, HIGHLY neurotic individual.

        You’re giving your power and money away to these people. Take it back.

      • Dutchie, I had assumed energetic therapy was something to do with qigong, yoga, massage, acupuncture etc.- things that can help some people.

        However, it seems this specific therapist is playing the role of a dietitian and counsellor among other things. What precisely are her skills ?

        • @Oracle,Thomas and Betty In general I do agree,just as I dont have much trust left anymore in conventional medicine doesn’t mean I blindly go about alternative medicine as I too have seen my share of quacks and moneygrabbers.
          However this lady I do trust more,bc she actually had the heart to treat me for free so there’s no win in it for her. Oracle,what she does is (dunno what’s similar/called in English) literally translated Color Therapy. She’s no nutritionist and actually says that herself,the ‘recommendations’ she makes is based upon testing specific questions,I in this case, ask to test. So answers can vary per person,depending on their situation.(The question has to be formed in a ‘yes/no’-answer type manner. Actually she doesn’t know why a certain answers are being given for a specific person,so there’s no personal interferance from her.Just as she doesn’t force one to follow up on those ‘recommendations’.)

      • Dutchie,

        I agree with Thomas Seay.

        You are wasting money and, time.

        Cooking is like any other skill. It becomes easy with time.
        Soon you will throw together great things to eat with little
        time and, effort. Too, you can make enough that you have
        left overs. :)

      • Another concern- you wrote:

        ‘On top of it I still deal with lots of parasites&funghi(Candida).’

        Have you actually had any tests verifying or confirming this? You’ve mentioned this many times, and I’m wondering what the basis is for this assertion?

        I’m gonna offer some straight talk, Dutchie: As Thomas said, many of us have gone through the wringer of various ‘alternative health protocols,’ and on the whole, they come up short. One of the benefits of 180D is that people can read and hear each other’s stories and hopefully benefit and avoid some of the more dangerous and side-effect ridden practices.

        *BUT, this only works if the curious party actually adjusts and incorporates the new information.*

        It doesn’t work when, in the face of seemingly no hard evidence, someone maintains that they have some ephemeral and nebulous diagnosis that just so happens to be impervious to absolutely every intervention, despite hearing repeated stories from others of the futility of these diagnoses to produce useful restorative guidelines.

        I think this all comes from a sincere place- you don’t feel well and want to feel better. I think your intentions are good. But after several people on here have taken the time to respond to you and try to help you along, only to run into a wall repeatedly as you have some or another reason not to try their suggestions, I don’t know why you keep trying here. If this sort of advice isn’t working, why not pursue advice and ideas elsewhere?

        By now you probably know what the 180D sort of crowd will say. Your actions suggest that you’ve repeatedly determined that it’s not going to work for you. Why stick around, and continue to solicit feedback you’re not going to use?

        Truly, I wish you well. I just don’t think there’s much help to be had here with your current mindset.

        • Yes,it’s been tested but I also certainly have learned enough about symptoms that I can recognize them all on myself.

          I come here bc I hope that there’s someone/more persons that help me,in a way as to that I finally be able to gather my courage together and face my fear.(and I believe a lot of this is regulated by my digestion/critters and energy/metabolic disorders.) Also hoping to find someone that is(for them hopefully was) in a similar position as I am.(It’s not like I’m aching physically like some people).
          I currently think the Lyme has been ‘the cherry on top’ so to speak and that my metabolic/energy&gutflora/digestion problems go waaay back longer to early childhood.

          And part of me also comes here bc ‘I want to shut my eyes and pretend the situation/foods for most people here are ok for me too’ though I know they’re not deep down inside to my own frustration.(and this has nothing to do with anything anyone said.)

          • Dutchie, Just recently Matt has talked about the spiral of reintroducing (this post or the last? lol) a lot of carbs etc..Sounds like you have given it a shot but the next day you talk yourself out of it. Do you think you’re actually gonna die or something if you eat what you want? Even if it has some gluten or carageenan, whatever it may be, if it’s not going to kill you, just freakin EAT IT. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. If you never stick to it you’re not going to get anymore. I don’t want to be silly or anything but maybe you should go eat some cannabis brownies and stfu and etff. Much love, good luck.

          • “Do you think you’re actually gonna die or something if you eat what you want?”

            No,I don’t but many times I wish I would….
            I get by now,that everyone’s convinced that eating whatever is gonna help….I really wish there’d be at least one person to believe it’s a bit more complicated than that,as I’ve suffered for years now from bad digestion/severe IBS which has a lot to do with my mental health/moods,sometimes CFS-like symptoms,thyroid&adrenal issues,unsteady sleep etc.

          • Dutchie,

            I know that complex of symptoms well, maybe not to the extreme you are experiencing them, but I can relate.

            It’s really not about “eating whatever”. I experienced some major setbacks when I first starting reading 180DH and then tried to eat tons of carbs and highly palatable food based on what I thought was right according to this new belief system. It’s not like you can make a list of “180DH foods” and then eat them and be healed. It doesn’t work that way. It will never work. What it is about is putting everything aside and just listening to your body, and little by little giving up the futile game of trying to control your life and especially trying to control your health. No one can get you there because nobody can know what’s right for you.

          • Thanks Luke:)
            Well that’s the part I struggle with so much as most foods I always ate/loved to eat/gave me a good feeling in the past were actually detrimental/toxic to me,yet wanting to eat more&more of them and also on a daily habit.
            So, I really have a lot of selftrust issues when it comes to food,so that’s why I regularly mention that I admire everyone’s courage here and also the fact that they love ‘starting to eat more’/food that tastes good to them.

            And then there’s also the weightgaining thing. I’ve always been obese/chubby but not with the female curves but with bellyfat(and thinking of it now also part bloating I guess which made it even bigger),small to no breasts,flat ass and a round face.

            Women like Marilyn Monroe had nice curves(boobs,ass you could bounce a quarter on(also seen a lot in Afro/black women),small waste) but they also had a lean/thin face,meaning you could see jawline definition etc.I love those looks,but I wonder if I’m genetically not built to become like that.

          • And on a sidenote…I’m jobless,but constantly jobhunting and basically get told everywhere “due to the current economy and lots of experienced unemployed people,I basically can forget finding a job”. So,if I did gain a ton, I’d need an entire new wardrobe whch is kinda hard with no spare money.

            Finding a job unfortunately isn’t something ETF is gonna fix,yet I so badly want a physical outside job…:(

          • Dutchie, I don’t think it’s always just as simple as ETF, esp if you have poor digestion. But there is plenty that can be done for poor digestion when you have the will, and simple supplements, too (someone recently mentioned triphala, and I’ve heard that before, too). A low-carb diet is not usually a good idea, even if you do have candida/parasites, and it’s obviously not working for you. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way because it’s meant to be said with kindness: there’s a saying that in life some people look for solutions and some people look for problems. I think you are falling into the latter group right now. I really do feel for you, but I think you need to work on your emotional health.

          • What is considered lowcarb anyway?
            I know I have emotional problems and am searching like crazy for a good therapist,but till now had no such luck. (I actually spoke to one a while back who I felt took me serious and was actually reasonable with a mix of humor,which I really wished I’d have met several years ago bc maybe it wouldn’t have come this far,but unfortunately he’s about to retire so doesn’t take on new clients anymore.)

            Like I’ve said a couple of times,I really wish I was brave enough like all of you here but since my life kind of got down the rabbithole 2years ago(though it already was for several years,just took it for granted as ‘something I had to live with’ and just push through) I feel so awkward in my own skin and life in general. I feel I’m in this transformation but don’t know where I’m going……and new/unknown stuff scare the sh*t out of me! I also can’t think of any goals anymore….
            The only thing I wish for is my brain being deleted/wishing I was still ‘ignorant’ though I didnt feel good/happy and had already lots of these healthissues silently….but at least I didn’t had the extra burden of carrying lots of stuff I know now….as I’m the type of person who can’t let go of stuff. I know ‘knowing’ usually isnt that beneficial to me,yet part of me also wants to know/always wanting an answer/explanation.

          • DUTCHIE; Your depression is really getting in the way of you actually healing. The best way to counter that is to start eating what it is you crave/tastes REALLY good. You basically have already lost hope on finding a cure, so why not eat what will bring you a tad bit of joy? I don’t know what country you live in, but certainly there is some place where you can buy a new pair of jeans for cheap/free in the event you get fat.

            You can’t let stuff go because you are overly stressed. Stop giving a fuck. Seriously. I know you can do it, because I have done it and I had developed a fairly bad case of OCD by that point. It took time though. About 2 years.

            Oh, and therapists are a waste of time/money cuz when they do help it’s totally shit you can figure out on your own with just a modicum of applied analytical skills.

          • Thats the problem Mike d, like I said in a post to Luke.
            I always ate what ‘tasted’ good to me,yet it didnt help me in the long run and probably caused a lot of these things….so I have develloped really a lot of selftrust issues regarding that,eating more,getting fat(in all the wrong places)

            Also bc it’s indicated to me that I should follow a (Lacto)Paleo eating pattern which comes down to no bread.

          • Hey Duchie,

            I was thinking about you feeling worse day after eating foods you like and crave and want. Lots of people, including me, felt worse after eating cookies or fruits due to sugar going down fast, but when they persisted, the issue was resolved.

            Now, can you try that? Can you try eating foods you like, but frequently during the day and as often as you want, and see what happens? Maybe after several weeks or more your sugar and therefore mood will start stabilizing after consuming those.

            Since fruit is the problem, then what about something with table sugar. That seems to not trigger IBS symptoms. Something like a cake maybe is better digested than cookies, if you like it.

            Does bread cause bloating as well? What if you chew it so very very well. And are you sure gluten is making you more hypothyroid?

            There was a reader here that used to get bloated by rice, but she persisted in eating it, and was no longer bloated after eating even large amount of it.

            Although Paleo was indicated to be good for you and you believe it is good for you (many of us used to think this way), you can see that it’s not working because it’s not giving you what you really need.

            I wonder at which point and what will finally force you to let go.

            I hope you can start eating nice balanced meals soon.

          • @Msanjap

            Thanx,I really hope so too. (I first must come off this fasting/feasting carousel….)

            As mentioned I’m totally astray,feasting once a day at the buffetrestaurant,the next day I do feel more energetic(most days) and like constantly moving&exercising(the latter is becoming kinda difficult due to lack of inspiration amongst some others). Like I said,sadly I must conclude that whipped cream on its own (Sat.fat) can make me warm yet the softice cream(carbs/sugars) on its own not,so I guess I dont need the carbs/sugar…..sometimes it does and other times it makes me even cold and that’s not due to the fact that icecream is cold.

            I don’t know about the bread/gluten….I only know,for years I was feeling chilly on cold days, but I honest to God dont know anymore what started when&caused what….

            I can’t blame it all on Paleo,as I never gave it much of a shot bc my head always felt like “this is not normal the way you have to eat/no more bread/pizza/pasta etc….”, yet the culprit is that I havent had bread&other stuff in a while and always ate lots of mealsalads etc. before and still stick to a kind of Paleoish pattern at the restaurant. I really don’t know anymore what feels like normal meals/eating to me/in my head.

            Aside from that,the indicated Lacto-Paleo prediction, it is actually kinda vague whats Paleo supposed t be as all Paleo-guru’s seem to shift their viewpoints constantly….(but still no grains)

      • Dutchie – Have you seen Matt’s video on Candida? I always thought I had Candida, too, and maybe I did, but I followed Matt’s suggestions and they worked better than every anti-candida diet/supplement/doctor/etc I’ve ever tried. Seriously. I’ve been on those diets my entire life, and they don’t do shit (well, they make you kinda hungry I guess).

        I think you need, and let’s be honest, you want, to just be able to start eating whatever you feel like, as much as you feel like.Because you want to RRARF, right? And you don’t want to spend all day cooking WAPF meals, either.

        So what if these foods you fear might feeding your ill health, with actually feed YOU? And actually make YOU stronger? I’ve found that looking at food in the most simple of terms has helped me so so so much more than being worried about it. Food = energy and material for strength.

        Dutchie, I can’t tell you what to do. But I can tell you that when I went to Florida on vacation, and ate Bryer’s ice cream and chocolate chip cookies all day, in addition to proper meals, that I started to feel so much better. Strange how I had to be super desperate to re-learn that food isn’t scarey. Food is awesome, and enjoyable, and gives you health. :)

        P.S. I don’t know if you have appetite problems at all, but I was deficient in zinc. Having that helped a lot. :P

        • Actually if I’d be able to WAPF prepare/cook meals I think It’d be a huge step for me as I’ve always ate processed stuff in the past and never cooked.

          I wish I could say those foods made me stronger,but they definitely didnt do me much good as they’re laden with all the wrong stuff,at least for me (veggie/soy oils,HFCS&other sugars but HFCS being the absolute worst,MSG,gluten etc.) robbing me of even more minerals/nutrients,making my liver fatty,downregulating my temp/thyroid,leaving me fatigued/depressed and whatnot the day after etc. Thing is these substances make me feel ‘happy’ while eating them(and eating way too much of them) but leave me with lots of negative issues the day after,knowing it and yet also wanting more of it at the same time.

          • Sounds like you are terribly stressed, then you eat foods that kill said stress, then you freak out because now your stress high is gone and you feel depressed, blame it on the food, feel guilt, produces more stress, and you go back to whatever you were doing previously.

      • I know you’re not in the US, but could you just compromise with some healthy convenience food? Here I get Neiman Ranch cooked pot roast dinners, and also a lot of frozen Mexican-type dishes that are all organic and taste nice and are SUPER convenient because I am just like you, I freak about about what I should make, hate cooking, and don’t have time with 2 little kids who don’t eat anything I cook anyway. I finally decided to just spend a little more to spare my family the agony of trying to figure out what to eat every night. Do you have anything like that over there?

        • Yes there are whole food stores over here,selling organic meals and products but they unfortunately contain just as much crap as their normal counterparts. (soy,veggie oils,nuts/seeds,fructose,carrageenan etc.). To me they count just as well as processed foods (unfortunately).

          That’s why I’ve said WAPF-style is so much work,it seems,but the only way to make pure stuff/control what’s in something.

          • Dutchie,

            That is why I cook. :)

          • Like I said,id like to be able to do that too but thinking of how to manage cooking 3meals a day which would rrquire being at home and i just basically want to be moving,exercising doing physical hard stuff all day. Dunno why,but i really feel an inner urge and only can sit my ass down when im at the buffetrestaurant eating.

          • Dutchie, so you are eating at buffets and restaurants but you are worried about tiny amounts of additives in organic foods? Any idea what buffet foods have in them?

            There are plenty of people who dont like to cook or are busy all day long but they still get it done. quit worrying so much about what is in stuff, just buy the best you can and go with it. There are plenty of healthy people who at horrible stuff. The stress you induce on yourself from worrying is probably far worse then the carageenen and few grams of canola oil in a frozen meal.

          • Zach….I actually avoid the PUFA and also fructose/HFCS-stuff mostly at the buffet. That’s the thing,it really doesn’t leave me with much choice/eating virtually the same stuff(I actually during the day frequently think”what’s the point anyway,if you constantly eat the same?”. Yet I can’t get enough of it at the same time…
            Since living on my own,I became even more of a monotonous eater).

            I find that,looking back over several years, PUFA&Fructose make me feel ‘blissfull’ while eating it and eating way beyond satiaty, yet they bloat me like hell and leave me depressed the day after…

          • How on earth do you avoid PUFA in buffets? Unless buffets over there are drastically different from here, I find this hard to comprehend.

          • Like I said it’s actually kinda boring. I dont eat the Chinese dishes,nor do I wok (just let the green beans/bokchoy or broccoli/meat/shrimp be boiled/cooked).
            I eat different types of lettuces(without the dressing) and as a dressing I use a couple of drops of some kind of sweetsour sauce (that might contain some PUFA but I keep it at a bare minimum) and pair that with steamed salmon.
            I know they actually are one of the few who have icecream that isn’t sweetened with HFCS (though still not healthy with tablesugar&maltodextrin) and no PUFA in it, as for the whipped cream and Tiramisu either(of which I dont eat the cakepart). But like I said still not healthy as in,some kind of nourishing element in the desserts (and I sadly must conclude that the icecream alone doesnt make me that warm(or carbs in other words),yet whipped cream in it self does and ofcourse the combination of the 2.)

          • Dutchie – I used to think my bloating and digestive issues were caused by fructose, then I thought it was gluten, then dairy, then fat, until I discovered that fibre had been the problem all along.

            I didn’t realise this until I read Konstantin Monastyrsky’s book Fibre Menace. Since I have cut out fibrous foods, my digestion has become normal and I feel so much better both physically and mentally.

            Just thought that if you could get your hands on a copy of the book, it might be worth a read.

          • It’s not just the digestive issues,also mood disorders and my liver doesnt process it that well amongst some other stuff. I know from my own experience,looking back over the years, that fructose is too messy for me. I know people dont believe in addiction over here and all write it off as ‘starvation’ but I have experienced that there’s definitely truth in the fructose-theory&satiaty.

          • Dutchie, maybe you should try an elimination diet. Essentially you eat very basic foods like rice and veggies and add in other foods one by one to determine what you’re reacting to. If you’re convinced this is food-related it might help you determine which foods are triggers. I’m sure you could google elimination diet to get some guidelines.

          • Dutchie, you don’t have to cook 3 meals a day. You can make a bigger batch of whatever and eat it for 3 days, or make another batch of something else the next day and alternate the 2 foods for dinner, you can make a big pot of oatmeat (WAP way if you like) and warm up portions. There are tons of shortcuts out there but you a psyching yourself out. You can eat biscuits and cheese for lunch, make them in advance. You will still have plenty of time to be outside moving around. I made like 5 baked potatoes the other day and have been eating them for lunch with chili on top. The chili was ridiculously easy to make, but you can use canned, or top with cheese and sour cream, butter, salt.

          • Dutchie you don’t have a job, you’ve got 16 hours a day to do stuff.

            Stop making excuses.

            If you want to be out all day and eat processed/restaurant crap, cool .. do it, have fun. But don’t expect change or miracles.

            But if you want to eat well, and eat good, home-prepared food. you need to be at home.

            You clearly HAVE NOT followed an Anti-Candida diet, since eating out will contain shit loads of added gluten and sugar.

            You literally have an excuse for everything .. “I’d do [X] but

            How about stopping writing on this blog all day long?

            You DO HAVE CHOICES.

            1) continue doing what you are doing, but accept feeling like you feel

            2) change something.

          • The things I buy have minimal amounts of those ingredients. I don’t worry about minimal amounts. Overall, the reduced stress from not having to cook overcomes any tiny bit of PUFAs or fructose.

          • I have come to this point with a lot of my foods:
            “overall the reduced stress from not having to cook overcomes a tiny bit of PUFAs or fructose”

            I have for many years invested a lot of energy in homecooking from scratch, baking fermenting, kefir-ing , making icecream, etc.

            But now I buy some basic shop foods- bread, biscuits, crackers, chocolate ,
            and for me the time and energy and stress saved in not having to cook and worry about food so much,
            in my mind, more than makes up for any lessening of nutrients.

    • MaryL – I don’t have any answers for you, but I identify. I formerly was more WAPFy than I am now. No way will I eat whole wheat bread. Kills my stomach. Find something else to eat! I have 2 kids, still nursing the 2nd who is almost 2.5. I suspect I won’t lose weight till after I stop. I am about 20lbs over my prepreg weight, and 25-30 over my comfortable post 1st baby weight levels, which put me at a size 10. I’m a 14 now and it’s hard to get used to the extra stomach I have. Anyway, I notice if I am not eating enough, I crave carbs and sweets, but if I make sure to get 3 real meals and a snack, at each of which I eat enough, those cravings disappear. Sleeping more helped a lot too. You probably are not eating enough, so you might want to track your food for a week. It’s easy to skip meals or eat too little when you are caring for children. I had to talk to my husband about the fact that i no longer diet, nor do I want to, and that my body was going to be what it wanted to be given good eating and more activity. He suggested exercise, and I am incorporating that ONLY to the extent that I feel comfortable with and enjoy. I will not run, I hate it. But I love swimming and enjoy working out with weights. And walking. Making time for that has improved my mood. Good luck to you!

      • Thanks, Amanda, its nice to have someone identify with me! Getting more sleep would be nice, but mostly impossible right now with a six week old! I should nap but I hate it and just wake up feeling so depressed because I feel like I could sleep forever! My husband wants me to exercise, too, but I haven’t gotten back into any exercise routines yet. I’m trying to repair my diastasis recti and I’m not supposed to do any other exercises until I get the muscles together more. I’m in a size 12 now, was in a size 10 after my 4th baby and was in an 8 before that! So, I’ve gone up a whole size for each of my last 3 babies and I only lost 12 lbs after I had my 4th baby so I’m not expecting that I will lose much this time, either. Very depressing, especially since I was super thin until I got married at 24, I was a sz 4 and 105lbs. I never dieted either. I was raised on what my mom considered a healthy diet and very low sugar so when I got married and started eating more sugar I gained 15lbs within a few months!!! Now, I can’t believe I ever thought I was fat at 120lbs and a sz6, would love to be there again. After my first two babies I almost got back to that. Very worried about getting pregnant again because the last two have been surprises. I just get more fertile the fatter I get, I guess!!!

        • Exercise 6-weeks post-partum? That’s crazy. Maybe gently lift some weights and walk a bit.

          Also, I am a size 12 after two kids. No offense but I’m not sure you can realistically expect to keep having kids and remain the same size.

          • No, I didn’t really expect to stay the same size, just not gain so many sizes! I’m only 5’2″ so it doesn’t look too good and I’m very self conscience of my appearance. And, no i’m not exercising yet, just doing seated exercises for my stomach muscles to repair my very bad split, I can do them while I’m nursing my baby.

          • There’s a book, “why women need fat” which I have not read but it talks about the widening birth canal after first baby and having bigger healthier subsequent babies, and yes, mom getting fatter, being normal and appropriate. I need to check it out!

          • Read it. Good and informative.

  17. Are there any techniques for getting someone with an eating disorder (anorexic tendencies) to seek help? Or is this just another condition where you have to wait for something bad to happen?

  18. Hey Matt — thanks for this update. I’ve been away for about a year — waaay too sick — and of course now even sicker, but I can relate.

    Even though I don’t have a classic eating disorder, I do have CFS, probable subclinical hypothryoidism, food intolerances, including gluten, and definitely have hypochlorydia (maybe even achlorydia) and very much delayed stomach emptying.

    So — how in the world was Coldmember able to increase his calories so dramatically, so QUICKLY, if he had poor digestion?

    And do you recommend supplemental HCL w/pepsin at first, in order to increase stomach acid?

    • p.s. I also have lost even more muscle since a year ago, but did gain some belly fat, about 15lbs. Can hardly walk now due to the muscle loss, so any suggestions are MUCH appreciated.

      • Kelly, why are you so sick to begin with? What is causing it? That sounds like the root question. Was it dieting? A traumatic event? Stress? When you moved into a new home (I asked that because that was a root cause of some CFS stuff that happened to me) or even moved your bed to a new place? Starting a new job? Going on/off meds? When did all of this start? And why has it gotten worse in the last year – what were you doing? Because the answer probably lies in the answers to these questions.

        • No one knows what causes CFS — it’s different in every patient. In my case, I believe it was a combination of a decade of overwork and underpay (so I had no savings to ‘stop’, rest up, before getting a new job), plus the job involved working with paints, chemicals, sometimes pesticides, etc. I was an artist before that, so also worked with oil paints, thinners, etc.. I had to quit that in 2002, got a small inheritance which helped me for a year or so, but never recovered, although was doing considerably better up until about 2008-9. Still, huge, huge money stresses (I’m on SSI), almost no family support, and no car, so gradually wore down my batteries to where I’m at now.

          This place I’ve been in for the last 10 years was checked for mold — twice — in 2011, and came up clean, but it does have a gas stove, with no fan except for the one in the bathroom right 5 feet away.

          And diet — yes, that’s why I’m asking here. I’ve reviewed ancient diaries of mine from 1999-2000 when I had a year long “remission” — and almost every time I was doing better, I was eating something sweet, or drinking something sweet. I was also taking certain supplements that seem to help (b12, folate, iron, zinc, carnitine, etc), but when it comes down to it, I bet it was the sugar that helped.

          But it’s been so demonized — tied to diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease — and especially in the CFS community — the dreaded CANDIDA — that for the most part I’ve avoided it like the plague, except as maybe molasses or honey, until about a year and a half ago when I developed a definite salicylate intolerance.

          Tons of stress, isolation, no money, not enough sugar(?), and high cortisol as a result. My last salivary adrenal hormone test — around a year ago, showed low cortisol in the AM, then HIGH at noon, then lower, but still at little high at 4pm, then lower at midnight.

          THANKS for asking Amy. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. So much conflicting advice online…and evolving too. Not sure if Matt still agrees with Ray Peat, or Josh Rubin (who seems overcaffeinated to me), or what….

          • Sorry you’ve had such a rough time, Kelly. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. It sounds like it’s probably not your home because it goes back further. Sounds emotionally/chronic stress-induced. My personal recommendation would be to go back and do exactly what you were doing in your year of remission, including the sugar. Matt may have more targeted advice, but that is what I would do personally. If it worked then, maybe it will work now. And maybe target what happened at the end of that year that caused the resurgence. If you’re concerned about refined sugar, why not have the un-refined brown cane sugar. I buy that and it’s really tasty.

            My other recommendation is meditation and positive affirmations to help cope with the money stresses and isolation. Having that sort of chronic stress is not good for health and if you can somehow cope with it better/try to put it in a new light that causes less stress, it may help you a lot.

          • Thanks so much Amy…I really appreciate your reply. Yes, long-term chronic stress, both environmental and emotional, fits me to a ‘T’.

            Just last night I was reviewing that old ’99-2000 diary, and was taking certain aminos, vitamins and minerals, but also noted that the most consistent results seemed to show improvements when I ate something that had some form of sugar. I too am now using a little more ‘whole’ sugar. Looking back over the past 4-5 years, I can now see how it’s most likely that I have depleted my glycogen big time by being so sugar-phobic. I was instead eating a lot of dried fruits, which are extremely high in salicylates/phenols, which deplete glycine, so will try that again (that was one of the aminos I took back 12 years ago).

            And yes, on my better days, I’m trying to meditate and work on past issues w/my family, friends — typically anger at them not understanding my situation. You’re right…it’s not good for health.

            And yesterday, I saw an ND here who specializes in thyroid issues and also IV vitamin c, among other things. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, if I could post a picture of my upper thigh, I think most would agree that I’ve developed a near-scurvy situation. If you go to google images and type in ‘corkscrew hairs’, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

            Anyway, the doc agreed that it’s fine to have a little sugar now and then, and not be so obsessed about the so-called ‘proper diet’.

            Thanks again!

          • Sounds like you’re on the right track! I hope things get much better for you soon!

          • Thanks Amy. I hope so too. It took a long time to get this sick, so I can’t expect a fast turnaround (or can I?), but I’m hanging in there and figure if I make major changes, then maybe I can actually turn this around.

          • tell me what’s wrong with gas stoves? i’m moving back to America and want to make sure i don’t get a rental with gas stove again if it’s bad. i always loved how i was able to regulate the heat so well.
            I tend to look back as well on when i got sick and what was going on. There seems to be a pattern of living in rentals with attached or underground parking. So I’m avoiding that this time, which is hard if living in suburbs. I also look back at when I was feeling particularly well and it often has to do with doing something that fed my soul as well as spending time outdoors and eating regular, timely lunches (I have a tendency to go hungry an hour or two before lunch, cause I can’t figure out how to manage my time getting food on the table when I’m hungry).

          • Hi Josefina,

            There are pros and cons for gas stoves. They’re probably fine. I just mentioned the one in my apt, because it doesn’t have an exhaust fan directly above the stove, so there’s a possibility that the gas fumes that are emitted from the stove for a second or so before the spark lights the stove may — may — have affected my health. That’s just a guess though.

            I think you’re smart to be more concerned about living over or close to parking lots, where there’s bound to be a lot more pollution…

  19. Matt, are most of the recovering people like coldmember taking heavy doses of supplements, such as betaine or enzymes? To help with reflux, gas and general bloating.

    • No. I almost never recommend supplements unless a person runs into some kind of impenetrable barrier that they can’t get beyond without them.

      • I am very curious about digestive supplementation too…my digestion is very poor and I think it might have always been. I was an overweight kid (always feeling hungry) and then developed an eating disorder from age 14 to last year, age 26. I underwent all medical protocol (ED specialist/Dr, therapy, etc).
        My appetite (7 months later) is still insatiable. Still no period (which I actually maintained when I was was bulimic 15 lbs lower than my current weight. Bulimia was unfortunately quite easy because when I purged, it would not burn my throat/teeth which have GREAT enamel, even after 7 years of heavy bulimia…)
        I am constantly fatigued.
        I feel like food just SITS in my stomach, unless it’s bread and dairy, which doesn’t bloat me, but doesn’t fill me up. I love ice cream, but it makes me feel a bit ill (too heavy).
        I don’t know what to eat anymore. I am up to NINE HCL tabs with meals and STILL no warming sensation.
        So what does one with presumably no hydrochloric acid eat??

        • Camila – if bread and dairy are digesting well but not filling you up, it sounds like you need to make some calorie and protein-dense foods more easily digestible. My first thought is pulverizing/vitamixing stuff like spaghetti sauce and chicken soup. I don’t have your issues, so I only know what works for me – I have a gallstone, so my bile secretion is impaired and stomach acid isn’t always strong. I find my stomach acid strongest first thing in the morning, I think because it’s had so long to rest and recover overnight. So I eat my fattiest meal in the morning, and then focus on simple easy-to-eat foods the rest of the day. Cheese seems to always go down really well – I think because it’s already been cultured and fermented, so it’s kinda half-digested anyway. If things are really bad, I drink un-caffeinated soda with every meal, the bubbles and food-acids in the soda seem to really help (but it has to be fresh soda, so I buy small cans instead of big bottles.)

          • thanks for the ideas! I do carbonated water too; for some reason it ‘perks’ me up…

        • can you get refined sourdough bread? fermented grains and dairy is more completely digested and would increase your feeling of fullness.

          • funny, i’ve been doing pretty much that! sourdough and butter, and then sourdough/cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. I’m hoping if I keep eating the food, my digestion will pick up. thanks!!

  20. Honestly, Matt, this is what every eating disorder sufferer should gain access to. Totally brilliant, totally solid recommendations and so glad that he is on his way to better health.

  21. Ok, this is off topic- but is something that is driving me nuts. I have been having night sweats on and off for the past few months, and lately, on a nightly basis. I wake up completely drenched on my torso, and I have kind of a weird, sweet smell. I have been ETF- lots of carbs and have been trying to eat more sweets. I feel “pretty good” otherwise. Can anyone give me some insight on this? It’s freaking me out!

    • Melissa U,

      I started having night sweats in my early 20’s. I went to the Dr. more than once
      because I was concerned. I never any real answers.

      I had IBS too. I read a book called “IBS Free at Last” by Patsy Catsos, MS,RD, LD
      I followed the advise. I found out that I was having trouble with certain fruits.
      Now, the book teaches that fructose is my problem. However, some fruits do
      not cause IBS. Apples and grapes are my worst offenders.

      Anyway, I use to eat apples 2 or, 3 daily. I quit them entirely. The night sweats
      vanished. About a month ago I ate 1/2 an apple. That night I had night sweats.
      When I eat apples, grapes, or drink tea, any kind of tea my IBS returns.

      I do eat bananas, and drink plenty of OJ. So, it isn’t the fructose. It could be
      sorbitol but, cherries don’t seem to bother me?

      My BIL says milk will cause night sweats for him.

      • Hmmm, that is interesting! I have to look elsewhere, though, as I pretty much eat zero fruit. It is nasty and kind of freaky, so if anyone else has any experience or suggestions, please let me know!

        • Melissa,
          Are you eating more than you used to? Did you have any form of restrictive eating (dieting) before you began this protocol? I’m recovering from disordered eating currently with the help of, and Gwyn explains that having night sweats in the first months of recovery is entirely normal as it is a sign of your metabolism revving up and your body putting the new influx of more calories to use repairing your body. I experienced night sweats for my first 3 months or so and haven’t had them since (I’m in month 7 now). That’s all I’ve got! :)

          • I had night sweats when I went off the pill. And day sweats, too! Hormonal imbalance can cause them, too.

          • Thanks, ladies! Yes, I come from a past of disordered eating, and have been slowly trying to sort myself out over the past year. I have been eating much more, especially carbs, so maybe that explains it. I’m not on the pill, but the sweats could be hormonal anyway. This site has helped me so much in my recovery from all of the diet madness out there :)

          • Melissa, are you eating a heavy meal or a meal high in protein right before bed?

            If so, try a lighter meal several hours before bed and keep the protein of that meal low.

      • I too have lots of problems with fructose in regards to IBS,bloating/digestion,depression etc. yet fructose is very addicting to me.(yes,I know people don’t believe in addiction over here…)

        I’m not too sure about fructans…..once again I always loved onions(just not raw) but they always bloated me,gave me gas etc.And from what I understood wheat is also a fructan,so that might explain why I always loved all kinds of ‘wheat’breads,pasta’s,pizza’s etc.

        I’m trying to find a good reliable list with foods that are high in glucose as opposed to fructose… there are a lot of contradictory lists out there.

  22. Hi Matt,
    I just found your site and I’ve been reading like a madwoman for the past 24 hours. In your diet ebook, you mention that food intolerances appear by avoiding certain foods. My case is slightly different. I was raised on a diet rich in gluten, dairy, and eggs. When I was 18, I was tested for food intolerances and found that I had extremely high intolerances of those three things. When I took them out of my diet, I felt much better until I fell down the restrictive eating hole and began experimenting with calorie counting, being vegan, being raw. I’m now 7 months into disordered eating recovery with the help of Gwyneth Olwyn’s site ( I’ve had 7 periods after 4-5 years of them being completely absent or irregular. My temperature is up to the high 97 range as opposed to 95/96, and my hair is slowly getting thicker again. Though I honestly do not feel comfortable eating gluten or dairy again, my body seems to really want eggs again. What does it mean when one has food intolerances before ever restricting/avoiding them? I’m not sure what to do.
    Many thanks,

    • Hey Des! Glad to hear you are doing well! I also followed that site for support during the hardest parts of my recovery. I stopped visiting it in August – I was a lot better and I get easily obsessed with things. I wanted to move on from the ED thinking, even recovery focused. I wanted to focus my reality on simply living normally. Though I don’t want to visit that site anymore, I would love to chat and discuss a few things with someone with a similar experience. Would you be interested in corresponding a bit and sharing thoughts? Let me know what you think.

      • Goosie! I remember you from Gwyn’s site! I would LOVE to chat sometime. Do you still have an account on Gwyn’s site? I could shoot you a message that way so that you can get my email. How does that sound? ;)

      • Hmm… On second thought, it doesn’t seem as though I can send you a message! If you want to try me, my screen name on Gwyn’s site is artemis. :)

        • There are so many other things that can cause food intolerances, or low metabolism, besides restricting foods/calories. Stress, lack of sleep etc.

          I grew up on a very varied diet, with plenty of grain, full fat dairy, and meat. I never even entertained the idea of becoming fat and certainly didn’t make a connect with eating lots of food with gaining weight. Always had a healthy appetite but for some reason, my health was never great. As soon as I started menstruating, my health just got way worse.

          Some things that I attribute it to, are always going to bed late (my mom lacked big time in the authority department), sitting still for hours in school (not healthy for human children), having a very stressed out and depressed single mom who frequently had nervous breakdowns, screaming, criticizing, and being of a perfectionist and inward personality type.

          Basically, stress was huge. And when you grow up with it, it sort of becomes a natural part of you and it’s difficult to shake.

    • Food intolerances can be an indication of weak/fatigued adrenals, or disturbances in the digestive tract, or a hyperactive immune system/burdened liver. In my experience, if you clear those things up, you will be able to tolerate more foods. Likewise, if you start stressing your adrenals/immune system/digestion/liver again, food intolerances (and allergies in general) will crop up more. All those systems are related.

  23. Hi Matt

    When it comes to Hypothyroidism I often got the feeling from your post that you think it can be addressed and totally fixed by diet alone. Mark Starr and the Barnes school of though seem to think that for most people, white hypo type 2, weak genes have now been passed to most of us since antibiotics saved some of our ancestors (well you’ve read the book) and therefore that people showing the symptoms should supplement with natural dessicated thyroid, maybe for a lifetime. What do you reckon?
    I have seen many symptoms on myself of mild hypo and for the last 2 months I have been supplementing with dessicated thryoid from Dr Ron company. I seem to get good results in term of fatigue, body temperature (warm all the time) and complexion, hair etc.
    By the way I was trying to address adrenals and thyroid at the same time and took dessicated adrenal and thyroid on the same days. I understand now they are a bit antagonist in nature – and at time I had a bit of dizziness afterward. I know you can’t give medical advise but based on your knowledge of these two organs, is it better to take thryoid one day, adrenal another day? Which is my current approach…
    Many thanks!

    • Hi Laurent,
      I’m in the same boat, adrenal and thyroid problems…was even on Armour Thyroid for a while without feeling any change so decided I needed to get my temps up and adrenals healed before I focused on my thyroid. I used adrenal glandular and herbal support from my health food store, as well as ETF for almost a year before my temps confirmed my adrenals were stable ( and have now started working on my thyroid w/glandular, vitamin, & herbal support. I don’t want to go to prescription meds if I can avoid it (although Dr. Rind’s website, as well as most practitioners will only recommend prescription meds-even Broda Barnes if I remember correctly-don’t remember Mark Starr’s therapy) so I’ve given myself ’till next Spring to stabilize my thyroid.

      • Hi Carla
        Fantastic link, thanks a lot! To be honest my symptoms are mild but I feel I am still not a my best. Ridged nails (has them for years), tendency to dark circles around the eyes, light headed when standing up, not putting on muscles despite training, mild fatigue, slow digestion and food allergies etc. Looking at the link you gave me I realize it might more of an adrenal rather than thryoid problem! Will get on with the graph thing and see what it tells me…
        Dr Starr totally recognized the problem but seems to indicate that a few days on iodine are enough to jump start the adrenals and then they can support the thyroid protocol…Which seems fairly optimistic!
        Hope we gonna have Matt point of view on food alone vs food + dessicated thyroid/adrenal and how to use them.

      • HI Carla,

        I also have tried EFT, starting about 3 years ago, but found ‘Faster EFT’ on youtube, to be a lot (sorry) faster at helping to resolve certain issues. Some of them of course are deeply rooted and take more time, but the thing I like about ‘Faster EFT’ is that there aren’t as many steps involved, and there isn’t the formal script to follow. Robert Smith is the guy who created it, and has about 600 videos on youtube.

        • I think you’re talking about two different things. ETF-eat the food. EFT-emotional freedom technique.

  24. Sorry for the typos in the previous post. I wish you had an edit function like with Facebook :-)

  25. Coldmember,

    Wishing you health!

  26. Thanks for this post Matt and all the great comments. This feels like a community of people encouraging each other to heal. I myself have observed my daughter healing from severe rheumatoid arthritis with a WAPF – raw milk heavy diet. Although healing with diet can be very powerful, it can be an arduous process, with many ups and downs. In my daughter’s case, she has been eating this way for 2 years and is just starting to look like her old self – from before she got sick. I can see how easy it would be to get discouraged and give up. I’m so glad my daughter stuck with this approach – and never resorted to meds – even though she spent the better part of 2011 bedridden with pain. The reward is there, Coldmember and Others. Hang in there!

  27. Hi, I need to know how you can RRARF if you have no appetite. I’ve never had much of an appetite, been underweight all my life. Last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after 12 years of pain. I went down the rabbit hole of gluten free last summer. Ended up trying GAPS but only lasted 6 days (thank god) as I lost over 1 lb a day and got scared. I’m 5’1″ and only 92lbs. Found Matt’s site and realised I was hypothyroid all my life. My son is too (low BBT, cold hands and feet etc). We joke he and I have ‘cold blood’ while my husband and daughter have ‘warm blood’. He’s doing better now I let him eat as much icecream and bagels as he wants. My problem is I don’t have an appetite and it’s very hard to force myself to eat more than about 1400 calories. Not that I calorie count but got curious and recorded a typical day on FitDay. Maybe there’s something I can take? Suffer a bit from orthorexia too but getting over that. I really do feel fuller after only a few spoons of food and really feel sick if I eat more. My husband thinks my appetite will increase as I get used to it. I’ve always hated being underweight and would love some curves! But vanity aside, I believe low metabolism root cause of all my problems. Any suggestions?

    • Have you seen the show Supersize vs. Superskinny? As you watch, you realize that there are a lot of different ways to break out of eating too little. The two days of force-feeding a completely different diet seem to be really helpful too.

    • Have you tried smoking/eating cannabis? I’m serious.

      • Thomas, right on. Cannabis is my go-to remedy for poor digestion, weak appetite and insomnia. It could be a seriously helpful tool in raising metabolism.

        • Don’t you people have any better suggestions? Seriously? Have you thought about her having KIDS to take care of? Seriously, sometimes i don’t understand you people…(go ahead get offended, i am offended by your suggestions).

          Melissa, my twin daughter is like this; gets full easily and is skinny in my opinion (10 months old). I was kind of undernourished when pregnant, and it turns out that if the mother didn’t have enough to eat, the baby is born feeling the food is scarce and eats little and is easily satisfied…something along those line – there was a study about this.

          But of course i am trying to overcome this. It seems that she wants only sweetish stuff, like juices, and so i give it to her. As long as i mixed it with some fat, she starts gaining weight. Also, i started to give her some desiccated thyroid (the nutri-meds company) because i am concerned that i won’t be able to raise her metabolism with just food, and she needs thyroid hormone for proper brain development.

          So, how about you try eating sweet if you like it. Sugar is known to raise metabolism, which would hopefully increase your appetite, and if you mix it with fat, most likely you will gain weight.

          • Hey Melissa,

            I forgot to mention few other things.

            Someone mentioned zinc deficiency and lack of appetite. But i think that zinc should be taken with copper, and i also think that zinc deficiency has more to do with the hormonal problems than anything else. The white spots on my fingernails all disappeared as soon as i got pregnant, although i was not consuming much foods rich in zinc.

            Also, ice cream seems great, but maybe warm milk with sugar, or milk mixed with fruit sorbet, or warm chocolate milk is easier to consume in greater quantities than ice cream…if you can tolerate milk, that is.

            Also, mild exercise such as walking would probably increase your appetite.

            I’d be very interested in hearing others’ suggestions (apart from consuming intoxicants).

          • msanjap, I don’t understand why you are offended. By the way, I have three children. One of them is 20 and goes to Stanford. The other one is almost 11 and the third one is 6. I imagine that you think that it’s impossible to raise children well and occasionally consume cannabis. Well, it’s not. Obviously, like all things, cannabis can be abused. It would be wrong to conclude from that that all cannabis users are out of control abusers of the substance. I am not offended by your post, I am kind of amused that there are people who still maintain a “Reefer Madness” mentality. The truth is that marijuana has a very good track-record for helping people who are wasting-away from various ailments; it’s a great appetite stimulant. In some places, there is legal Medical Marijuana, so perhaps pursing this course is not even illegal. I don’t know where Melissa lives That said, Melissa does not have to try my suggestion. It was just a suggestion. She is free to take it or leave it. Why get offended over that?

          • I have a weak spot for hating intoxicants. I dislike them and think there are ALWAYS better options. I don’t use this word “always” often, almost never, but in this case, i strongly believe there are always better options than what you are suggesting, especially for someone with kids or possibly pregnant.

            The benefits are not greater than the damage, in my opinion.

          • Marijuana has all sorts of negative impacts on health. Yes, it numbs out symptoms of some conditions, but that’s no better than pain killers.

          • Word. This november ballot is exciting. Could be the beginning of the end of prohibition yay! Colorado Oregon Washington. After 75 years let’s get fuckin real here.

          • Thomas, I agree with you, I think it’s a valuable tool. Not practical for most people unfortunately.

            The chapter on sloth in Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage has a good discussion about cannabis that helps cut though the rhetoric on both sides.

          • I think a lot of people have just seen first-hand how pot makes some people so stupid without them even knowing it. I am sure it can be a useful tool for people who are really sick, but, it can really kill a lot of brain cells too.

            There are a lot of herbs known to be appetite stimulants that don’t have the mental effects that pot does.

          • What herbs stimulate appetite? I’m always wondering if I’m eating enough because I can eat a regular sandwich and some chips for lunch and am not hungry for dinner (I make myself eat something light because I don’t want to wake up hungry in the middle of the night/cause blood sugar issues…but feel like I could do without it).

          • Cannabis killing a lot of brain cells is propaganda Tierney. If you look into it, it actually can have some properties that can stimulate new growth. But nonetheless smoke isn’t good for you; however you don’t have to smoke it obviously…

            Cannabis is extremely useful as is hemp. Take a closer look at the people you claim have gone stupid from “pot”. You can have intelligent users and dumb ones too.

            Perhaps the stupid people were stupid to begin with, or they have no desire to expand their minds or even exercise them so they become dull. It’s like if you don’t use math.

            It’s a beautiful thing and I guess like everything else too much can be a bad thing, and be aware that there are many different kinds with different chemical (cannabinoid) ratios and profiles.

            One thing is for sure, it’s much more harmless than anything else we have legal for recreational or prescription usage, and it will not, I repeat it WILL NOT and can not kill you.

          • The idea that we should shy our kids away from drug use, is kind of like how we treat ‘junk’, and so-called unhealthy foods that are useful to raise metabolism. We consider them bad. We punish if our kids go crazy for it. Once you prohibit, and deny, you only create neurosis, fear, guilt and repression. I don’t pretend that it isn’t difficult to raise kids with a positive drug message.

    • Raw milk. Warm it up and add a little honey. Start with one cup a day, and assess your tolerance. Make Kefir with it, just find some “grains” locally. I can drink a LOT of kefir, but only moderate amounts of unfermented milk. Find your sweet spot.

      Coconut oil. Use heaping tablespoons of it in and on everything you cook.

      Butter. Same.

      Salt. Put a bunch of it on all your food. (Get high quality salt, not processed stuff)

      Wheat. If you’re gluten-adverse, try organic wheat. Make pancakes, slather on butter & maple syrup.

      Sugar. Sweeten anything that can be sweetened. Bake chocolate chip cookies and eat 2 after every meal.

      Eat past the point of comfort for a while until your appetite rises. Then stop eating when you’re comfortably full, as long as it was “enough” food.

      Get more sleep. Lower the amount of “EMF noise” in your house (wireless router, cell phone usage, etc)

      • “Wheat. If you’re gluten-adverse, try organic wheat. Make pancakes, slather on butter & maple syrup. ”

        How is organic wheat different glutenwise? As I understood it still contains gluten…

        • Notice I said gluten adverse, not intolerant. Some people think gluten is the ultimate evil, but a lot of people who thought they were “gluten intolerant” do fine on organic wheat.

          The quality of a food makes a big difference. Pasteurized milk isn’t the same as raw organic milk. Morton’s salt is not the same as Real Salt. Battery hatched eggs are not the same as free-range eggs from hens fed a non-corn diet. And pesticide-rich wheat gluten is not the same as organic wheat gluten.

          Imagine the difference between “identical” breakfasts made with the two categories of above ingredients. One one hand, you have your pasteurized, hormone-laden milk with 2 pale-yellow yolk eggs, “iodized” salt on them and a slice of conventional wheat toast. Let’s put some rBGT butter on that bread, too.

          On the other hand, you have oragnic, grass-fed raw milk with 2 fresh, dark-orange yolk eggs that are soooo rich you make sure to minimally fry them (in organic butter) so that the yolks stay runny. Put plenty of Real Salt on top of the eggs, and have them with a slice or two of organic wheat bread with organic butter.

          “Experts” might tell you that the two meals are identical, but they are worlds apart.

          • Thanks everyone.
            Don’t bash me but I have actually tried cannabis. While kids were with my mom, so not irresponsible. People with chronic pain will try anything!
            It did help with the pain but not the appetite as it just made me sleepy, not hungry.
            I do like raw milk and I’m lucky I have a source nearby. And I always warm it up first as cold milk makes me gag. But can’t drink too much or I won’t be hungry the rest of the day. One glass literally is all. I’ll try loading it up with honey etc
            Coconut oil is yummy, licked off the spoon or mixed with honey. Must make pancakes. What happens is I make loads of yummy food, load up my plate, eat a few bites and I’m full. So, think I need to make every bite count. My husband ends up eating my leftovers. But his metabolism is excellent so he doesn’t get fat.
            Zinc might be an idea. Don’t have white flecks on nails though. I’m definitely deficient in something. But hoping if I Eat the Food it’ll help. Maybe a lot of little snacks? I assume it’ll all add up.
            Sorry for rambling on! Just really grateful for all the replies. Of all the health related sites etc this is definitely the most helpful, friendly and down-to-earth. Even including the RBTI!

          • Yep, make every bite count. Also, consider a mindset shift towards something like you are intentionally “stretching” your stomach with large amounts of food, which is a more simple concept that “I am up-regulating my metabolism.” You’ll be taking on some short-term discomfort so that you can comfortably eat more in the long-term.

            Eat on a set schedule every day. Even if you don’t feel hungry, eat a meal. Don’t eat too much fiber during your over-feeding stage (every bite needs to be calorie dense). After each meal, try to completely relax for 30 minutes. That means no tv, no internet. Just sit, close your eyes, breathe slow and deep, and relax.

            2-3 hours after breakfast and again after lunch, when the feeling of “I’m so full” passes, take a walk or do something physical that isn’t too intense. Maybe even a little moderate strength-training if that is of interest to you. Giving your body an “outlet” for some of the calories will help you feel ready to eat again at the next meal.

            And look on the bright side…most people are trying to LOSE weight, gloomily lowering carbs and feeling deprived, but not you! So here, have a cookie. :-)

          • p.s. Have your warm milk before bed, with just a little honey. That will keep your body “fed” through half the night, and won’t fill you up during the day.

          • Yeah, definitely lots of little meals, then. Better more than less.
            I know you are not a baby, but when babies nurse frequently, they gain and grow better.

            Whatever happens, let us know please.

          • I do believe it regarding the meal identicallity. I’m just still hesitant to try organic wheat or other gluten,bc of my thyroid although I really mis bread also for the practicality of it.

      • I’ve heard good things about using einkorn wheat in place of regular modern wheat. Soured.

        • Oh Thanx,never heard of it so I’ll Google it later to see what it is and in Dutch.

  28. Great work Coldmember, keep at it! Your body will thank you with a fulfilling, healthy life! Eat the food!

  29. Great post Matt. I clearly remember and relate to every single thing you mentioned. Except maybe testosterone, and having a member lol. Two years seems like a reasonable amount of time to recover health first, and finally fitness. It might seem very long, but time is much longer when you are starved, living in the shell of a person. Eating tastily and living fully really goes by in a flash because life is once more enjoyable! It’s been about 1 year and 3 months that I discovered your site, and took my temperature which was under 95. I was really skinny, freezing, an emotional wreck, could not even digest a mini potato without having to lie down from exhaustion, constantly dizzy, would fall asleep whenever I would sit down, in class or reading a book (Or black out? Not even sure anymore…). I had isolated myself from my friends and family. That day when I realized, by taking my temperature, that I was literally starving my body to exhaustion, my life turned around. It’s been a hard process, with some ups and downs, but today I am once again healthy and very happy. I have to say if not for this site, who knows where I would be today. It literally saved my life.

    • That’s me, exactly. I also believe Matt has saved my life. I only discovered him mid-September, so still only getting into being able to eat more, but at least now I have hope. Temps still only 95 and not budging but my mood and outlook so much better. And have miraculously started pooping once a day!! From once every three days. So things literally moving in the right direction.

      • Haha yeah I think they are! Glad you’re doing better! I can attest that my life has literally turned around. During that time, I had intense paranoia, OCD, depression, was prescribed anxiety meds repeatedly (almost never took them). I don’t mean to be negative, but I want to point out how now I have NONE of those issues…just normal mood swings here and there and manageable stress. I am not the same person. At first, it can be very tough. I remember crying a lot and feeling very desperate, but the more your body is nourished, the better you will feel, I promise! The temps for me too took many months to rise, at first I was eating gradually more, and my temps were still low and still had freezing hands. But, at some point about a year later, my temps were always above 99! Down a little now, I haven’t been eating as much as I should, but still feeling quite great.

  30. Really enjoyed this post!

    Question: all of the suggestions (not just in this post, but on 180 in general) are geared for those with low temps. Are there any recommended tweaks to the protocol for those with high temps and high pulse? My pulse is generally around 90. 1st half cycle temps are 97.8-98.3, 2nd half 98.8-99.6. Despite these high numbers, I have all the typical hypo-metabolic/hypothyroid issues: fatigue, dry/thin hair, acne, cystic ovaries, blah, blah, blah.

    I’m guessing adrenaline is causing the high numbers. Also guessing Matt would suggest I just keep trying to stuff my pie hole, but wondering if there are any special tips for those with the high numbers.

    Melissa M: I also have struggled with no appetite (coming from low-carb, low-calorie eating). Over the past year I have had some weeks where appetite has kicked in, but often, I have trouble shoving food down my gullet, even when I know my body wants more food. I think the nausea/lack of appetite is also caused by adrenaline.
    I’m also 5’1, but when I weighed 92 lbs, I thought I looked awesome. Just interesting the difference in perspective.

    • Ray Peat talks about this in one of his articles or books.
      He said to measure the temperature after eating breakfast.
      If the temperature and pulse drop, then these values are pushed up by the adrenaline as you know.

      Then he goes on to say that someone he worked with had these numbers brought back to normal by taking some thyroid.

      • Tierney, My understanding is that there is NO definitive proof of normal marijuana use damaging brain cells. The only “proof” suggestive of this is from studies using HUGE amounts of THC (like 200 times the normal dosage). There are studies that show a correlation between VERY HEAVY marijuana use and schizophrenia….but that’s all they are: CORRELATIONS.

        Look, a lot of smart people smoke pot and a lot of stupid people smoke pot. Just like alcohol, some people use it wisely, other people use it irresponsibly. A LOT OF PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM ITS USE. I don’t think it’s wise to say that it’s all good or all bad. Depends on how it’s used. I am also not saying that there might not be side-effects. However, as with all drugs or even herbs, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Somebody mentioned it just covers symptoms in terms of pain relief. OK, it doesn’t cure the pain, but if you are in a hell of a lot of pain are you supposed to wait for a cure that might never come in your life time? Marijuana is, in this case, a hell of a lot better than many of the other palliatives out there.

        MSanjaP who is so ready to attack marijuana, just put in a plug for Thyroid medication, as touted by Ray Peat. Surely, T3, what he usually recommends, can be a godsend for some people. I am not disputing that. However, myself and a lot of other people got REALLY BAD side-effects from taking it. I had to go to the emergency room for heart palpitations. One person whom I know from the Ray Peat sphere had a brother who was following Ray Peat’s advice on taking T3(was even getting consultations from him) and who got heart palpitations like me. He persisted in taking the stuff and died of heart complications. Just shows that one man’s cure is another man’s poison. Everybody needs to be careful about making generalizations. What works in one situation might be disastrous in another. One of the truly bad things about the current War on Drugs is that there is so much propaganda out there that one cannot distinguish between good information and bad information. Go ahead and let your children listen to that bullshit put out by DARE. One day, they are going to find out that a lot of it is lies. Then they aren’t going to listen to any of the warnings about drugs, even the ones that happen to be sound,because they will have concluded that any warning is just another lie or exaggeration.

        So my point is not to say that cannabis is 100 percent good or that there aren’t possible side-effects (name me a drug or herb that doesn’t have potential side-effects); surely people who tout marijuana as a universal panacea need to be careful about their their pronouncements, but so do puritans. like MsanjaP, who make blanket disparaging remarks about it.

        And remember Mencken’s definition of puritanism: Puritanism IS THE HAUNTING FEAR THAT SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE MIGHT BE HAPPY ;) Marijuana has the HORRIBLE side-effect of sometimes making people feel, at least temporarily, happy. That’s why it is so much more suspect in the eyes of some. Anything that you enjoy must be bad for you, right?!

        • Oh God….

          I mentioned thyroid so that she knows her symptoms might actually be indicative of hypothyroidism, and then go 180D style. But you know i thought that is an obvious conclusion, but not so obvious to a dad of a Stanford kid ;)
          BTW i have a graduate degree in chemistry from Caltech (1st uni in the world), so what. You need not mention where your kid goes to school. It doesn’t really matter…

          And if you have heart irregularities while on thyroid, it means you need more sugar, or have some other deficiency that has to be corrected first. Or increase very slowly.

          As for your other stuff, i stand by my words and that’s all.

          • Like I said, I was not attempting to put down thyroid medicine. My point is that what is good for one person is not good for another person.

        • I really don’t care what Ray says. I grew up in Santa Cruz, if you recall, so I’ve known my share of pot-heads. They are more in denial than other types of addicts I’ve known because their behavior (at least in Cali) is normalized and if anyone criticizes it, they are just told to chill out and be cool. But I have lost several friends because pot made them STUPID and really annoying to be around.

          (I smoked my share, too, in high school. Luckily, I never enjoyed it, so I only did it under peer pressure and it never continued past that.)

          Of course I have also witnessed a group of normal teenagers turn into meth-heads and eventually murder two people. So I don’t think MJ is some Satan drug but I have seen it have really bad effects on people. In my opinion, for something like appetite stimulation it would be a last resort.

          I support legalization though, just for practicality.

        • And no, it has nothing to do with puritanism. Being happy is good. Being happy in a way that makes you unable to relate to non-high people is not so good. My mom rationalizes her alcoholism the EXACT same way, eg “Can’t I just enjoy a couple glasses of wine at your house?” blah blah blah

          • Sorry if I was touchy about this Thomas. I was not trying to imply that you are a pot-head or an addict. I have just been around too many of them and dealt with my own addictions and my family and all that.

          • Ok, I have to admit that I have a hard time comprehending these articles. Here is what I understand, pot raises melatonin , melatonin suppresses cortisol => this happens naturally at night so we are kind of artificially enhancing the process. Melatonin production is said to decrease with age so perhaps pot will help as we get older :) The only issue seems to be the mixed data about pot and its affect on libido (lowers T).

          • It’s great that you at least support legalization. It just sounds like you were around a lot of addicting type personalities or just plain retards in my opinion. Like Thomas says, people of all types including very intelligent people can partake in the beauty of the tweedsky.

            Do you know who Carl Sagan is? You Better! Carl Sagan is the shit! Go read his thoughts on cannabis when he wrote for the book Marijuana Reconsidered by Dr. Lester Grinspoon.

            Or go get high and watch all episodes of The Cosmos. It’s awesome…

            You should probably watch “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” and when it comes out (In production, it’s gonna be really good) The Culture High.

          • Bob, you are right. Sagan not only smoked pot but attributed some of his breakthroughs to it. Man, I hate to think what’s going to happen if I mention that I think stronger psychedelics are helpful at times. Anyway, just so you know, I am lucky if I get round to smoking pot once a month. Psilocybin mushrooms I am lucky to do once a year!

          • Actually I happen to love mushrooms, Thomas, or at least I used to (I am too far removed from that culture to even know where to get some now.)

            I’ve never known anyone to get addicted to mushrooms or think that doing it every day is normal. You’d have to make a real effort to do any damage to yourself.

          • Thanks, but I can appreciate Carl Sagan without getting high. No offense but your post is like Exhibit A of why I get annoyed with pot-heads. Let’s move on from this topic…

          • Teirney, I have gone to pains to demonstrate that I understand pot can be addictive and bad in certain circumstances and a certain type of use. However, that is true about most anything. You can get addicted to exercise. Does that mean that you shouldn’t exercise? Sex can be addictive, shall we give that up also? It is a fallacy to say that ithe use of X can lead to bad consequences if used incorrectly, then X is bad in all circumstances. If you follow such logic, then you will end up living in one of those germ free bubbles and not doing much with your life. Believe it or not, some people can have a couple of glasses of wine and not be alcoholics. I am sorry that you have lived around addictive personalities, but just because some people are addicted to alcohol does not mean that everybody is and that everybody should abstain. Just because some people are addicted to sex does not mean that we should all abstain from sex (except in the limited circumstances deemed appropriate by certain priest and their modern-day analog, the pop-psychologist).

          • Thomas, its interesting how your simple comment to me has really opened a can of worms for some people. Again, I want to thank you for it as it wasn’t something I’d thought of and its certainly one more thing to consider. I’d really like Matt opinion on such things. As far as I remember, for RRARFing anyway, he doesn’t really recommend any drugs, or alcohol or caffeine. I’m not giving up my one cup of coffee a day, but it’s not a ‘deal-breaker’. And I’m sure a drag on a joint every now and then will relax me, help me sleep and might even give me the munches. But I’m not an addictive type (except my one coffee, which is purely routine) so not worried about getting carried away with it. Too many people too scared and/or judgemental about such things. I find prescription drugs much worse for me. For example when I took Lyrica, I was much more of a danger to my kids and felt like I’d drunk two bottles of wine! So again, good suggestion but I can’t/won’t be smoking/eating cannabis before my three meals a day just to increase my appetite! Plus don’t know of it’s effects on metabolism in general. All suggestions are welcome. Everyone here just trying to help. That’s why I love this site. Never commented much before but here I feel free to do so!
            Thank you all, especially Matt.

          • There is more to good restorative sleep at night than melatonin.

            I am a musician and I have heard all the “brilliant insights” that pot alledgedly brings. I also know that most of us don’t care about these “insights” if a studio has been booked and the “brilliant one” is wasting everyone’s time and money by being stoned. I also think that any brilliance is achieved despite of and not because of the drug.

            Personally, I do not think pot should be banned, but while it is there is the practical matter of obtaining supply. Even if someone was to obtain it without exposure to undesirable underworld contacts, there still is the matter of quality. How do you know that your weed is not contaminated with fungus? It’s not as if you have any consumer rights here and the secretive conditions make this more likely.

          • Pot was a major part of my metabolic healing when I was coldmember’s age. I had stopped eating after a major injury and needed to let myself binge in order to heal. After the injury, I went maybe a week without any food (the first couple days I was on an IV), and then I just didn’t eat much for a while. No one should try to heal from a major injury on ‘health food’, and my parents would buy nothing but. The next year was a horror, that no one should suffer through. When my energy returned, I started chewing gum all day, really obsessively. It took maybe a year and a half for my weight to peak, but within a couple months of smoking and binging as desired the weight started coming off at a rapid pace. The pot didn’t stimulate my appetite, but it allowed me to live in the moment, which allowed me to heal. And that is essentially the point, if it allows your mind to get out of the way of your body’s healing, it’s a good thing.

  31. There is a lot of info on this website but some of the more recent posts contradicts the historical ones. Would someone please summarize what the current ‘heathiest foods to eat are’? I cannot locate the Ray Peat diet and would like to try it to see if it clears up some of my health concerns. I have been following the WAP way of eating and also need to put on weight but haven’t noticed any positive changes. Everyone thinks I don’t eat enough but I think I eat too much! I avoid junk and concentrate on animal products, sat animal fat, coconut oil (lots), fermented dairy, some macadamia nuts, avocados and lots of veg (very little fruit) Thank you.

    • Looks like you are getting a lot of saturated fat. That is just one component of Matt’s suggestions. He considers Starch, Salt and sugar as metabolism boosters while slightly restricting fluids. Weight gain and lean muscle mass increase are pretty much guaranteed in 2-4 weeks eating to appetite and occasionally over.

      I believe the Ray Peat diet includes similar components but allows for more liquids (coffee, OJ etc). You can check out Danny Roddy’s website for that info.

      • Allows for more liquids, lol. You mean it’s a liquid diet with some occasional oxtail soup or cottage cheese.

        • hehe, that definition does seem to be true ! although Mr Peat has rekindled my interest in the mighty carrot. I wonder how Peatarians eat 3K calories a day without sneaking in a pizza or something.

          • It’s easy when you drink a quart of Orange Juice and half gallon a milk a day and sometimes HD Ice Cream to get 3K/day.

          • Thanks Thomas. I would think the milk and oj would take you to about 1200 Cal. Let’s also throw in a pint of Ice cream at 500 C. Add in some Mexicola and coffee and thats more than 1800+ Cal as ‘liquid-ish’ calories. I assume you’d have to somehow then get 1200 in solid food – little meat, cheese and carrots ?

            The point that interests me is that the goals and overall thoughts on metabolism, cellular energy etc of both Matt and those who interpret RP’s work seems to be similar. So this glaring difference in the amount of liquid calories (in addition to the starch issue) is very interesting. Hope Matt clears this point up in his upcoming book.

          • One pint of HD ice cream is hardly 500 kCal. It’s more like 1’200.. It’s real food, not a chemical frozen soup satuated with air..

          • Ugg .. sorry I realized that a bit too late. The front of the classic vanilla container actually says 14 oz instead of 16 oz so its not really a pint. The container stated 250 cal per serving with 3.5 servings for a total of 875 cals. I had about two servings today and the 500 number stuck in my head. Hope I got all my math right this time around.

          • I would say, in addition to that there is a psychological difference as well between what is going on here and what Ray Peat proposes. On the Weird Ray diet you still are getting anal about food. Neurotically avoiding PUFAs, instead of just mildly avoiding them and a bunch of other stuff. You are still in the neurotic diet factory with the Ray Peat stuff. Don’t get me wrong. He’s got some great ideas, but it’s still neurotic as hell.

          • Ray had something going with this quote from 1993…

            “If we added up all of the special ‘avoidance’ diets, no one could eat anything. Many people are ruining their health by avoiding too many foods.”

            The big joke of course is that his dietary ideas lead to the avoidance of more foods than perhaps any other.

    • If you’re having health issues, think about what you’ve been avoiding or what you haven’t been having for a while. Ray Peat would probably tell you to cut back on the nuts and avocados because of the omega-6 fatty acids etc…He would probably also say cut back on the vegetables too but if you like them I would have them. If you enjoy that much fat I guess go ahead but you seem to be avoiding carbohydrates. Think about what you really crave (you might need “junk” to feel better at first who knows, and that’s fine, but I’m no professional =) and have that. My guess is that your appetite should increase with more carbs, especially great tasting stuff you’ve probably been purposely, purposefully? avoiding. If you have been stressing your body out with lifestyle or diet adding carbs can cause weight gain, but if you feel better, I would keep at it, and keep reading and learning, and just relax. and get some great sleep (and sex yay!) for god sakes!

      • Thanks for the feedback. Macadamia nuts are listed as extremely low on the Omega 6 list that I found on this website and they are the only nut I have started to use. I love avocadoes but I am aware they are moderately high in the 6’s but most of my other fare seems to be in the low section other than eggs and a little olive oil! I have a huge appetite and am always thinking about food especially sour cream at the moment! I do eat carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, yams, red potatoes and plantain but everyone tells me these are too starchy and difficult for the body to break down. I don’t know if I should go mad on fruit or stick to the starchy carbs – I love both but am worried about all the sugar in the latter. I now drink little fluids as there is a lot of water in the veg (cucumbers etc) that I eat and I pee all the time (and in the night also) and it is mostly clear! I thought if I commited to a particular diet for a couple of months then it might all improve. My lower legs are regularly swollen! I used to be a vegetarian then a vegan and was on GAPS for a year! Oh I just bought tapioca but have been put off that by something else that I read. I think I am officially scared of food!

  32. Matt,

    I’ve been reading your articles pretty voraciously after discovering them for the first time last week. As someone who massively restricted salt and overconsumed water for over a year (always peed clear), while having a bit of an eating disorder mentality (811 raw vegan), everything kind of came together. The last 4 months after dropping 811 I have been experimenting with added meat, eggs, milk etc., and have put on healthy weight, but have had lots of blood sugar problems and fatigue.

    I had two issues that I was hoping you could weigh in on:

    1) I seem to do much better temperature-wise with starch. The last few days I’ve been taking my temps after eating a date smoothie versus a meal of rice, approx same calories (~1000). My baseline temperature in the morning seems to be about 97.2. After eating a date smoothie it can drop to as low as 96.2, but after eating a meal of rice it generally rises to over 98. I attribute this more to sugar versus starch, rather than the liquid content, and I feel much more level after eating the starch. Is this something you see very often w/ fruit v. starch?

    2) Second, after having salt out of my diet for so long trying to reincorporate it has been hell. I’m not trying to force it, just eating to taste, never more than half a teaspoon (~1000 mg of sodium) in a day, but every time I try it I feel terrible the next day. Like unable to do anything pounding headaches horrible nausea terrible, lol. I understand bumping up the sodium can help w/ temps, but I just worry that my body is so adjusted to ultra-low salt that it might be really difficult to get it to function normally again with salt. I’ve been trying to reincorporate it periodically for 4 mos. without much luck.

    • This is the general problem I have as well. All I know is that the more you go backwards because one aspect is difficult, the harder it becomes in the future to ever move forward. Salt, fat, carbohydrates, protein, hell, all food. I truly wish I didn’t grow up in the 80’s. :-) Those bodybuilding magazines with Lee Haney on the cover! Great bodies but psychologically and physiologically a killer on young innocent minds and bodies.

  33. the 200th comment !

  34. As a former ED-sufferer, I must say that I think your program is good in some ways (such as not restricting intake), but terribly bad in others. Come on – isn’t it obvious that a person who’s had had an ED is very very prone to be waaay too much into “healthy eating”, seeing it as the only way to longevity and health? This person is likely to fuss around food – may it be for calorie-restricting reasons, or for health reasons. Truth is – the latter is not far from the former – Orthorexia, Anorexia, Bulimia, anorexia athletica – are all expressions of the same genetic predisposition. And as you guys might be aware of, are healthy lifestyle sites such as this one here (although this one has a sensible approach) very often on the edge of orthorexia. Many tendencies found here and elsewhere normally play into the development of orthorexia.

    a) What a person, who’s suffering from an eating disorder, truly needs, is TO LEARN HOW TO EAT FREELY AND TO LISTEN TO HIS/HER BODY, n o t SCIENCE. Come on, it should be obvious that eating waay to little and/or only safe foods is way more a health hazard than eating an suboptimal combination of macronutrients.

    b) What a starved body needs, is REST. Exercise is likely to impair the bodies ability to move back to normal, to get out of this super stressful state of starvation. I have seen it in plenty of cases that full recovery was only achieved after a complete omission of any sportive activities. (such as hormonal restoration, in women expressed by the resumption of the menses)

    Letting an ED sufferer continue with both food obsession and sports obsession is very unlikely to cure this person, but rather leads to a semi stable state of finding a way of living with the ED. I think it’s not necessary to point out that this stable state could be easily disrupted.

    The way to full remission can only be achieved by ignoring all those healthy living concepts. Remember, people would not think about such concepts for centuries and still live a happy life. There are many factors influencing our health, (such as good relationships, a non-stressful environment, etc.) it would be utterly stupid to encourage an ED-prone person to pursue with those healthy living concepts.

    Balance will come by itself, if you try to interfere with your body as little as possible. It will tell you what it needs, and it’s absolutely okay to only eat chocolate for weeks during an ED-recovery. This too shall pass.

    For more information, check out the source of my recovery:

    • Familiarize yourself with the site a little more and you will see that all the points you just made are woven into the concept of “180DegreeHealth.” They may not have been there in the beginning, but the site has evolved over time to include concepts like “the perfect diet is very unhealthy” along with the development of what we call Rehabilitative Rest and Agressive Refeeding, which does not permit exercise, encourages one to get more than 10 hours of sleep per night, etc. Only recently did the site take a turn to more or less abandon the concept of healthy eating, or certainly recognize when it’s prudent to do so. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • Like matt said….you should look at the site more before plugging someone else’s. Not to sound rude. I just get defensive because as an ED-in-recovery, Matt’s site was the first one I found that changed my life for the better.
      Though I visit gwynetholwyn too (just changed her site name). There are very similar philosophies, and Matt wouldn’t disagree with anything you said, in fact he has suggested them.
      This site challenges any diet to rethink its dogma, and yes, he suggests rest and refeeding, maybe his most important concept to date. I happen to like the community at gwyneth, and she is lovely for answering so many questions.
      Be careful what you say as it would be a shame to put others off this path. This is very supportive of recovery.

  35. updates on this?

  36. Hi! I adore this site but I wanted to share that this article caused me to struggle early on in my ED recovery this June. I had been 10-15% body fat for three years and decided to recovery ala your program, youreatopia, and thefuckitdiet. I found throwing myself head first into boxes of lucky charms, cartons of ice cream, and multiple open cookie containers kept my appetite ravenous from the insulin spikes. Granted this might not be safe from the get go given refeeding syndrome risks, I tapered up over two weeks and was at 4-5k calories a day for a solid three months and with no exercise. I figured if I’m going to heal, I’n going to get over every food anxiety I ever had. I’ve been weight stable now for several months and am leaning out a smidge, just having began heavy lifting this past month.

    So given the warning to eat whole or bland foods, when I was first starting out, was very frightening. This site was a huge support and this one article brought me to feel a bit ashamed of my eating or like I was doing it wrong… And I know that is not what was intended. It is probably true that some people might feel better easing in with more whole foods, but a couple weeks in I found myself repulsed by my staples of the prior years and only wanted refined cheesy, milky, or sweet nourishing yum. I truly said ‘fuck it’ and am now the healthiest I have ever been in my life and have never felt so free.

    • Current stances corroborate your experiences wholeheartedly. I have worked with many actual eating disorder cases, and there’s really not much room for health food. The longer a person tries to eat health food, and the longer they wait to just get it over with an exorcise all of those dietary demons, the longer it takes to recover.

      Fuck it.

      And by the way, that ravenous hunger you experienced was not from “insulin spikes” per se. Insulin is a powerful anti-appetite hormone. It’s just the body has a relentless urge to achieve a calorie surplus even beyond physical limitations at times when a person has been underfed for a long time.

  37. Is this article different than it was before? Lol I know it sounds strange but I thought I read before about eating bland foods to adjust appetite?

    • I don’t think so. With over 700 articles here spanning 8 years, it was probably a different article. Maybe one written by or about “coldmember.” I don’t know.


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